Lusk 2030 vision a step closer, Joe O’Brien announces Town Centre First Grant of €100,000

9th December, 2021

Initiative to help re-imagine and revitalise rural communities as part of forthcoming Town Centre First Policy

Minister Joe O’Brien at the Department of Rural and Community Development has today announced €2.6 million in funding to deliver the first ever Town Centre First Plans, which will be key to tackling dereliction and revitalising town centres.

As part of the initiative, each local authority will be provided with €100,000 to support the development of its own unique master plan.  26 towns have been selected to receive this funding including Lusk in Fingal.

Welcoming the announcement Minister O’Brien said:


“Each local authority has put forward one of their towns which will receive €100,000 from my Department to develop its own unique master plan.  I am delighted that Lusk has been chosen by Fingal County Council. 

“Lusk are ahead of the curve on the “Town Centre First” policy.  With the support of LEADER funding from my Department Lusk Community Council have already led the Lusk 2030 Project which has created a vision for a vibrant town centre that people are drawn to.  There was huge buy-in from the people of Lusk for the project, even during Covid and I was delighted to be able to support and encourage involvement in the Lusk 2030 project.

“The announcement today will bring the Lusk 2030 vision a step closer.  But there is much work to do and we will need cooperation and buy-in across the community.

“This funding will enhance the town centre of Lusk to benefit the entire community, providing town centre housing, cafés and public amenities to make Lusk a vibrant town to live and work in.  The focus will be on the town centre and immediate surrounds.

“I am really pleased with my department’s announcement of the first ever Town Centre First Plans as part of a €2.6 million investment for Rural Ireland.

“The development of these 26 Plans will feed into the Government’s overall Town Centre First Policy, which will be launched in the coming weeks.”

Minister O’Brien continued:

“These Plans being announced today will form part of the Government’s wider Town Centre First Policy which will be published shortly in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

“Finally, I should stress that this is the first phase of funding for these Plans under the Town Centre First Policy and other towns will be afforded opportunities to develop such plans as we move forward.”

The Town Centre First Plans will be guided by a strong empirical base and developed collaboratively with local Town Teams.  Each local authority will now work closely with local community groups, retailers and the other members of the Town Teams in devising and delivering on the objectives of their respective masterplans.

This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland.

It is also linked to the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy and the forthcoming ‘Town Centre First Policy’, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

It is envisaged that the Plans will cover the importance of “place-making”, town centre living, the social and economic purpose of the town, and respond to emerging opportunities such as those linked to remote working, climate action and digitalisation.

The Plans will also be central to addressing vacancy and dereliction in these locations.

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