Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes new funding stream to support Local Authorities to purchase vacant & derelict buildings which can be converted for community use

27th May, 2022

  • New Building Acquisition Measure supports the purchase of vacant or derelict buildings for development as community facilities
  • Local Authorities encouraged to engage with Community Groups, Town Teams and Local Chambers to identify suitable properties

 

The Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, has welcomed his Department’s new funding stream to support Local Authorities to purchase vacant buildings which can be converted and developed for community use.

 

The funding, which is being made available under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, aims to support the continued regeneration of our towns and villages so that they are attractive, vibrant places for people to live and work.

 

Welcoming the launch of the scheme, Minister O’Brien said:

 

This funding supports the Government’s ambitious policy for town and village development, prioritising the regeneration and repopulation of our towns and villages – we want our towns to be attractive places where people want to live, work, socialise and raise a family.

 

“My Department is providing specific funding to Local Authorities this year to identify and purchase vacant and derelict buildings in towns and villages so that these can be taken into public ownership and converted for community use and the public good.

 

“Under the new Building Acquisition Measure up to €400,000 will be available per local authority this year. I am encouraging Local Authorities to engage with communities, identify suitable properties, come up with a proposal for their future use and apply to my Department for the funding.

 

“There are former bank buildings which could easily be converted into remote working hubs. Equally we know there are many community groups and voluntary organisations who need a space for local events and activities so let’s renovate and repurpose some of our old town centre buildings to accommodate them.”

 

Priority will be afforded to projects that align with these policy objectives with a focus on:

 

  • Purchase of vacant properties/sites for community use
  • Enabling vacant and derelict buildings to be repurposed as community spaces / digital hubs
  • Developing vacant sites in towns and villages into parks, green spaces and recreational amenities
  • Development of Outdoor Dining Spaces/Plazas in town centres

 

The Scheme typically funds towns and villages with a population of up to 10,000 people.

 

Larger towns with a population of up to 15,000 people may be eligible where the application is particularly strong and the project will have a significant impact on the town in question.

 

Full details of the Scheme will be published on the Department’s website in the coming days.

 

This announcement continues the focus on the renewal of our towns and villages and the continued expansion of our remote working hubs under the ConnectedHubs.ie platform.

The Work Programme is available here.

 

– ENDS –

Notes for editors:

The new 2022 Building Acquisition Measure will form part of the overarching Town and Village Renewal Scheme structure.  This will provide up to €400,000 to each local authority to purchase vacant and derelict buildings for future development as community assets.  Each local authority will be invited to apply to purchase up to two such buildings within the €400,000 available.

Full details of the new Building Acquisition Measure will be published on the Department’s website along with the details of the wider Town and Village Renewal Scheme on Monday 30th May 2022.