The derelict Tesco site in the centre of Edenderry

€2.6m in rural funding for Edenderry and Ferbane

Two Offaly towns are to benefit from funding of €2.6 million which was announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys this morning (Thursday) under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).

Funding of €2.1 million has been allocated to Edenderry to transform the derelict Tesco site in the centre of the town into a state of the art Community Library, while Ferbane is set to receive just over half a million (€546,400) for the redevelopment of key sites in the town, including the purchase of the landmark St. Joseph of Cluny Convent and lands to develop a multi-purpose community and enterprise hub.

The funding is part of a larger announcement of €21.5 million for 27 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country.

The funding is part of the Government's commitment to revitalising rural Ireland, and is designed to rejuvenate town centres, drive economic growth and footfall, combat dereliction, develop pedestrian zones and outdoor spaces and boost tourism across the country.

A number of the projects approved for funding involve the re-purposing of old, derelict and historical buildings into modern-day remote working hubs, as well as enterprise, cultural and community facilities.

The funding for Edenderry has been warmly welcomed by local Cllr Mark Hackett who said it would "build on the work already underway and will see the provision of a state of the art library while also providing opportunities for future development of community, leisure and cultural facilities" in the town.

Senator Pippa Hackett said the €2.1 million for Edenderry would see "a bright future unfolding for the town, to include digital connectivity, jobs where people live and a vibrant town centre.”

Deputy Barry Cowen said he had worked in conjunction with local Cllrs to ensure that the two Offaly regeneration projects received funding, and added that both Edenderry and Ferbane will "benefit hugely" from the significant investment announced under the RRDF. "I look forward to seeing the projects completed" he said.

Announcing the funding for the 27 projects, Minister Humphreys said:

“In 2022, we will continue to roll-out unprecedented levels of investment in Rural Ireland – making our towns and villages even better places to live, work, raise a family and run a business.

“Today’s announcement is proof of our strong commitment to supporting our rural communities both economically and socially.

“The projects being invested in represent the huge ambition that underpins ‘Our Rural Future’ and will have a truly transformational impact right across the country.

“When complete, these projects will leave a lasting difference on these locations for generations to come, benefitting tens of thousands of families in Rural Ireland.

The Minister added that all applications for funding were subjected to a comprehensive assessment process by the Department, with oversight provided by an independent Project Advisory Board, made up of representatives drawn from key Government Departments along with external independent experts.