€100k scheme aimed at encouraging people to return to live in Kilkenny town centre publishes report
A Kilkenny town which received €100,000 windfall to be part of a programme aimed at encouraging more people to live in rural towns and village centres has had the results of its project published.
Callan was selected as one of six towns in Ireland to be part of the pilot Town Centre Living Initiative hoping to encourage people to return to town centres to live, while addressing the issue of vacant properties.
A report on the programme was published by Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, this week. The independent report, prepared by Space Engagers, outlines the approach taken by each town under the pilot to encouraging increased town centre living.
Announcing the report, Minister Ring said: “This report shows that the reasons why more properties in town centres are not being used for residential purposes are many and complex, not least the challenge of adapting older buildings to meet modern living requirements.”
The Minister believes the report outlines the steps that can be taken to assist and encourage people to move back into our town centres, and addressing the challenges of vacant premises in a piecemeal way will have little impact on the issue of town centre living as a whole.
“The initiative also highlights the central role that Local Authorities play in town centre revival,” the Minister said. “Individual property owners need both financial and non-financial supports to help bring vacant buildings back into use.
“It is envisaged that the lessons learned through the pilot initiative will help to inform the approach to supporting and investing in rural towns and villages in the future,” the Minster concluded.
Apart from Callan, Boyle in Roscommon, Ballinrobe in Mayo, Banagher in Offaly, Castleblayney in Monaghan, and Cappoquin in Waterford took part in the pilot programme.