There are various grant opportunities aligned with the government’s “Our Rural Future”, Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 (128 page PDF.) The Town and Village Renewal Scheme awards grants from 90% of €20,000 to €500,000 in respect of one application from each Local Authority. Expressions of Interest (form) are due by Friday 18th June 2021. Rathkeale would like to apply this year and has formed a small working group. The initial meeting to choose a project will be held on Thursday June 3rd (changed). Rathkealers who would like to express an opinion should contact David Lamont at (087) 362 7113 or
Town and Village Renewal Scheme
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme’s (T&VRS) purpose is to provide an opportunity for people to continue to live in rural communities while following their career ambitions. It will also see continued investment to support town centre living. It will ensure cross government investment to support rural towns and villages as hubs of economic and social activity.
Specifically the scheme aims to target projects as follows;
- Projects that bring vacant and derelict buildings and sites back into use as multi-purpose spaces, e.g, Tourism, Cultural or Community Hubs
- Projects that bring vacant properties in Town Centres back into use as Remote Working Hubs. This also includes funding for the repurposing of existing community or publicly owned buildings in town or village centres to facilitate remote working.
- Projects to support the upgrade and enhancement of shop-fronts and street facades in towns and villages.
- Projects to develop parks, green spaces and recreational amenities in town centres to make them vibrant hubs for community enjoyment, and to increase footfall for local businesses.
- Marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers and mobile talent to their county/region; and promotion of specific town/villages to attract new customers and/or business investment.
- Projects that support and enhance the night-time economy in line with emerging recommendations from the Night-Time Economy Taskforce.
- Regeneration projects that support active and vibrant town and village centres; these projects should be identified in town and village masterplans (or similar) developed in collaboration with the local community, businesses and the other relevant stakeholders in the town or village.
1900 Market Town Theme Idea
David Lamont suggests we create a collective attractive ambiance (like Adare) by returning to the Market Town style of the late 1800 and early 1900. Shop fronts (not inside) on Main Street would be restyled, and the Chinaman statue reproduced. Awnings (e.g. Giltenane’s’) would make it possible to shop in rain. Old-style streetlights, bins, flower stands, and benches add practical elements.
Low-Carbon Infrastructure Town Idea
Tim Donovan suggests we create an eco-friendly town (like Dingle’s project with the ESB) by adding solar power (panels) on homes and businesses, solar streetlights and electric vehicle charging stations.
Abbey Park Upgraded Venue
Agnes Lamont suggests we create a destination space in the park grounds of Rathkeale’s historic Abbey, to be used as a venue for staging Farmers’ Markets, artisanal fairs, concerts, and other events. This would improve the quality of life and entertainment for the local and surrounding communities as well as attract visitors. This would also provide valuable showcase opportunities for the artisans and producers of West Limerick. This will be accomplished by creating an immersive, art installation, allowing visitors to see how the Abbey looked when it was a working monastery in the 13th Century and its influence on development in the area. Upgrading the landscaping and toilet facilities, adding hardscape, electrical outlets and additional seating will create the welcoming attraction and venue envisaged.
© May 2021 by the Rathkeale Community Council. Page content provided by David Lamont and Team Rathkeale.