The Heritage Council, along with Minister Daragh O’Brien and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, today (04.03.21) announced that ten historic towns will share €1.5m funding under the Historic Towns Initiative 2021.
The €1.5m in capital funding will help to provide jobs and economic stimulus through heritage-led regeneration and will aid the rebuilding of local economies with heritage as a focal point.
The Historic Towns Initiative is a joint initiative between the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Heritage Council and this year’s scheme follows on from highly successful programmes in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
This announcement follows a competitive process inviting local authorities to propose projects for heritage-led regeneration in one historic town in their area.
In 2021 funding will be awarded to the relevant local authorities for projects in:
• Listowel, Co Kerry
• Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
• Ballina, Co. Mayo
• Roscommon Town, Co Roscommon
• Sligo, Co Sligo
• Tramore, Co Waterford
• Birr, Co Offaly
• Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
• Navan, Co Meath
• Callan, Co Kilkenny
Speaking today, Minister O’Brien said:
“Firstly, as many people know, I am committed to the heritage-led regeneration of our towns and villages, so I am truly delighted to congratulate the ten successful towns that will benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative 2021.
“We remain in unprecedented times and our communities have been confronted with challenges and hardships that are both unique and extraordinary. In keeping with the government commitment to a Town Centre First policy my hope is that these heritage-led regeneration projects will bring economic benefits to our historic towns thereby helping them to prosper once again.”
Adding to Minister O’Brien’s comments, Minister of State Noonan said:
“We wish to put built, cultural and natural heritage at the front of both Government policy and the recovery of the country and so I look forward to working with the Heritage Council on similar initiatives over the coming months and years. Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan which will be published later this spring, will further ensure that our heritage is at the heart of policy across Government.”
Virginia Teehan, the Chief Executive of the Heritage Council commented:
“The Heritage Council is very pleased to, once again, administer the Historic Towns Initiative in 2021. Working with local authority partners and communities on heritage-led regeneration is an important Heritage Council priority and we very much look forward to working with Minister O’Brien, Minister of State Noonan and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in this, and all aspects, of the care of our rich heritage.”
Mr Michael Parsons, Heritage Council chairman, added:
“It is wonderful to be in a position to support such a range of projects across the country. These projects, taken together, give a flavour of the variety of heritage initiatives that can be undertaken to care for Ireland’s historic towns. The Heritage Council is delighted that the Minister has continued to support this joint initiative. I hope that the success of this year’s round of projects will inspire others to care for the heritage of their towns in future years”.