18 Jan 2022

Significant Funding Awarded for Town Regeneration Projects in County Cork

Cork County Council has been granted almost €2 million in funding for rural regeneration projects in Fermoy and Macroom. The money will be used to rejuvenate the town centres, combat dereliction and drive economic growth.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €21.5 million for 27 projects across the country under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the funding, she said, “Many rural areas have faced significant social and economic fallout as a result of the global pandemic. The proposals for both Fermoy and Macroom are responsive to this. We want to make our town and village centres the most attractive places to live, work, run a business, socialise and visit.”

More than €1.5 million has been awarded to Fermoy to deliver a town centre renewal project. It centres around adapting and reusing historic and vacant town centre buildings in a sustainable way as well as developing plans for a Craft Makers Hub. It also includes enhanced recreational facilities and public realm improvements. The project will be led by Cork County Council in partnership with Avondhu Blackwater Partnership CLG.

In Macroom, the funding will be used to develop a future vision for the former Church of Ireland building on Castle Street, transforming it into a flexible community, heritage and commercial outlet, in partnership with Lee Valley Enterprise Board, Macroom E and Macroom Tidy Towns. Funding of €395,000 has been granted and will also be used to improve accessibility and footfall in Macroom, connecting the Mill Dam/Masseytown area with the derelict church building.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added, “This funding is most welcome and will bring both projects through the development stage and to the point where they are ready to begin work. The funding will help transform Fermoy, delivering large-scale regeneration through targeted interventions. It’s about revitalising Fermoy town centre and driving it forward. The total cost of the Fermoy project is €1,925,000 with €1,540,000 awarded under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund. Cork County Council will fund the remainder. Macroom is a key heritage town with a fascinating history that goes to the heart of its identity. The project is centred around repurposing the former Church of Ireland building, an important landmark that has huge potential. Cork County Council is committed to working with local organisations, businesses and residents to achieve the best possible results for our county towns.”

The Rural Regeneration Development Fund provides investment to support suitable projects in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000. To date, 191 projects across the country have been awarded funding of €277 million. Funding from the RRDF is provided to further the aims of Our Rural Future, the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025.