26 Town Centres awarded funding totalling €5 million under the Town Centre First Heritage Revival Scheme (THRIVE)

Twenty-six town centres are set to benefit from funding of up to €200K each under THRIVE , the Town Centre First Heritage Revival Scheme , awarded under Ireland’s two European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regional Programmes. 

THRIVE was developed by the Southern Regional Assembly and the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, working in close partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. It aims to allow Local Authorities and citizens to reimagine and revitalise town centres though the renovation and reuse of publicly owned vacant or derelict heritage buildings. 

Funding has been awarded in respect of the following town centres: Newcastle West, Thurles, Nenagh, Clonmel, Longford Town, Ennis, Shandon Cork, Tralee, Killarney, Kings Island Limerick, Drogheda, Clonakilty, Kilkenny, Dun Laoghaire, Kilmainham, Lucan, Ballina, Ballinasloe, Carrick-On-Shannon, Cavan Town, Galway City, Letterkenny, Monaghan Town, Roscommon Town, Sligo and Tuam.

Welcoming the funding awards, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Alan Dillon TD said:

“Our towns and villages are the beating heart of rural Ireland. The Town Centre First Initiative is revitalising our communities the length and breath of the country. This initial tranche of funding under THRIVE will facilitate the development and enhancement of integrated urban strategies using a Town Centre First Approach and will assist local authorities to identify suitable projects and ensure they are ready to commence capital works. It is great to see 26 towns across the country, including Ballina, Co Mayo progressing as the first ever Towns under the initiative. The next tranche of funding will support those capital works, helping our local authorities to preserve, enhance, transform and celebrate heritage buildings while rejuvenating their town centres for generations to come. 

Commenting on the awards, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said: 

“This Government have placed a huge emphasis on the regeneration and rejuvenation of towns all across the country and I really welcome the €5M which is being announced today for these 26 towns under THRIVE. As I travel across the country I am seeing the impact of the various initiatives which are underway to transform towns, making them even better places to live in, work in and visit. This fund is empowering communities to shape the future of their town centres by identifying opportunities which will help ensure the long-term vitality of our urban hubs. I very much look forward to seeing the impact this scheme will have and the resulting substantial regeneration which will strengthen the economic, social, and cultural vibrancy of towns throughout Ireland.”

Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Malcolm Noonan said: 

“THRIVE will support local authorities, not only in protecting and preserving underused heritage buildings, but also ensuring their long term sustainability through their renovation and adaptive reuse. This funding will also promote increased public awareness and appreciation of the valuable built heritage in our town centres as part of the delivery of Town Centre First policy. ”

David Kelly, Director of the Southern Regional Assembly, said:

“The ERDF Regional Programmes play a critical role in supporting national and regional policy objectives but also a key European policy objective to bring Europe closer to its citizens. As part of this, THRIVE funding will help local authorities to engage with their citizens to work with them to identify vacant or derelict heritage buildings that, when renovated and repurposed, can have a transformative effect on town centres.” 

Denis Kelly, Director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly said:

“The Regional Assemblies are committed to balanced regional development and the revitalisation of our towns as outlined in our Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies. With the support of the Government, THRIVE is leveraging ERDF funding to support community-led heritage regeneration projects, empowering local authorities and communities across the regions to unlock the full potential of their heritage assets”. 

Local authorities in receipt of funding will be promoting the values and working principles of the New European Bauhaus – an initiative of the European Union – in their strategies and projects to ensure their projects are sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, inclusive and accessible.

The Southern Regional Assembly and the Northern and Western Regional Assembly are currently evaluating THRIVE Strand 2 applications and expect to make awards for the first set of capital works projects under THRIVE in August 2024. Local authorities will have an opportunity to apply for another tranche of capital funding under THRIVE in a follow-on funding call in Spring 2025. 

THRIVE is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-2027 and the Northern and Western Regional Programme 2021-2027. Further information is available on the websites of the Southern Regional Assembly and the Northern & Western Regional Assembly at www.southernassembly.ie and www.nwra.ie 

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