-Expressions of Interest sought for 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme-
The Department of Arts Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs have launched a new round of funding for 2017 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The focus of the Scheme is to develop projects to enhance and develop towns and villages socially, economically and culturally. Last year seven communities across Fingal shared €380,000 in grants from the scheme which has seen its funding increase from €10 million to €12m for 2017 with a similar amount anticipated for 2018.
The scheme will be administered in two separate phases and over a two year period. Phase 1 will concentrate on projects to enhance and develop towns and villages socially, economically and culturally while Phase 2, which will be launched in the second half of 2017, will be a pilot to encourage residential occupancy.
Fingal County Council is now seeking expressions of interest from community and business interests in the towns and villages in Fingal for projects for development as part of the Scheme.
The Council’s Director of Economic Enterprise, Ed Hearne, hopes communities in the County will submit expressions of interests by the deadline of May 29, 2017.
“This is an excellent opportunity for communities throughout Fingal to obtain funding to deliver projects which make our towns and villages vibrant places to live, work and do business in. Last year seven communities received grants ranging from €29,000 to €100,000 which was further supplemented by funding from Fingal County Council and enabled a wide variety of community projects to be completed,” said Mr Hearne.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler, said: “There is great pride throughout Fingal in where we live and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an opportunity to further improve our communities.”
Expressions of Interest Applications and all the explanatory documents on the Scheme are now available at www.fingal.ie
In line with the previous scheme there are two categories of towns and villages; Category 1 being those towns and villages with a population of less than 5,000 and Category 2 being those towns with a population of greater than 5,001 and less than 10,000. The Census data for either 2011 or 2016 can be used. 60% of funding being made available will be for the category 1 towns.
All applications under Phase 1 of the Scheme must be submitted to Fingal County Council by May 29 and the selection process will be a competitive one with the final decision being made by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Full involvement with community and business interests will be an essential feature of successful projects.
The explanatory document includes a detailed list of the types of activities that can be supported but it should be noted that up to 80 per cent of the total project cost will be provided for any individual project with the minimum grant available being €20,000 and the maximum grant of €100,000. A higher maximum of €200,000 will be considered for a limited number of projects where a robust case demonstrating exceptionally strong economic benefit to the town can be made.
The scheme also now provides for optional funding for public art works up to €20,000 which enhance public spaces as part of one or more proposals submitted in respect of their area.
All projects will be required to commence in 2017 and will be expected to incur a reasonable proportion of expenditure by mid-November and this should be a consideration in the project selection process.