A new €4.5 million funding package will include funding to develop a network of Town Teams that will “make their area a better place to live, work, visit and invest in”.

The funding for rural towns and villages announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys today also includes €50,000 each for the development of a number of projects designed to breathe new life into rural communities.

Additional funding will be provided for such projects in counties in the North West.

Towns will also be provided with up to €30,000 in funding to develop their own Town Centre First (TCF) Plans.

In addition, financial supports will be provided for smaller towns to tackle vacancy and dereliction.

Minister Humphreys commented: “This is about empowering our communities to realise their vision. It’s about giving them the tools and supports they need to generate investment, attract tourism and above all, become better places to live, work and raise a family.

“Central to this multi-million Euro initiative is the establishment of a new Town Team Support Fund. We all know that our Town Teams do fantastic work in many parts of the country. But in other parts, there is no Town Team at all.

“So under this new fund, we are going to provide up to €10,000 per town to help them establish a new Town Team or to build up the one already in place.

“This significant package of supports will be administered through the local authorities and the Town Regeneration Officers and I’m encouraging all communities to get involved.”

A Town Team is a group of local residents, businesspeople, community representatives and other stakeholders. They are supported in their work by Town Regeneration Officers.

Details of the Town Centre First initiative can be found here

A full list of towns who have previously completed Town Centre First plans can be found here