Our Rural Future:  €4.5 million package for our rural towns and villages


  • New Fund to build and develop network of Town Teams
  • €50,000 to develop projects that will breathe new life into communities
  • Supports for smaller towns to tackle vacancy and dereliction
  • Additional funding to be provided to counties in the North West
  • Minister Humphreys: ‘This is about empowering rural communities to realise their vision’


The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Wednesday, 7th February 2024) announced a €4.5 million package to support our rural towns and villages. As part of a suite of measures, a new Town Team Support Fund will be established to build and develop a network of Town Teams nationwide.


Under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, up to €50,000 will be invested in supporting the development of projects designed to breathe new life into rural communities.  And additional funding will be provided for projects submitted by counties in the North West – recognising the specific challenges facing the region.

Furthermore, towns will also be provided with up to €30,000 in funding to develop their own Town Centre First (TCF) Plans. These have already proven to be crucial in terms of helping other towns and villages to generate investment and tackle issues such as vacancy and dereliction.


Announcing the suite of measures today, Minister Humphreys said:

“I’m delighted to announce a package of over €4.5 million to support the development of our Rural towns and villages across the country.

“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.

“I’m also going to provide up to €30,000 for the development of Town Centre First Plans, which are really key to revitalising our town centres.

“And finally, I’m opening applications for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme with a particular focus on supporting counties in the North West Region.

“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.”

The new measures announced today follow on from the launch of the Government’s first ever Town Centre First Policy in 2022. This has seen the development of specific Town Centre First Plans in 2026 towns nationwide. These have helped empower those specific communities to develop their own vision for the future of their towns. The package is designed to further enhance government support towards the revitalisation of rural towns and villages, making them more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest.


The new package of supports will support the following measures:

  • Town Team Support Fund: Funding of up to €10,000 each for three towns in each eligible local authority area to support the establishment and/or development of town teams where they are not already well established.
  • Town Centre First Plan: Funding of €30,000 in each eligible local authority area to support the development of a TCF plan in a rural town.
  • Project Development Measure: This measure will assist local authorities to contribute to a pipeline of significant, well developed projects by providing funding of €50,000 each to support two projects with an additional third €50,000 application available for the counties in the North West Region.  This support will be delivered under the umbrella of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

These supports will specifically target rural towns with a population of under 10,000 people.

Detail of the Town Centre First Suite of Supports initiative can be found here

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

Read more HERE

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