Funding for Galway City, Tuam and Ballinasloe under Town Centre First Heritage Revival Scheme

Galway Arts Centre in Dominick Street.

Galway Arts Centre in Dominick Street.

Ten town centres in the Northern and Western Region including Galway City, Tuam and Ballinasloe are set to benefit from funding under THRIVE, the Town Centre First Heritage Revival Scheme, awarded under the ERDF Northern and Western Regional Programme 2021-2027. It aims to allow Local Authorities and citizens to reimagine and revitalise town centres though the renovation and reuse of publicly owned vacant or derelict heritage buildings.

Galway City Council has secured €200k in funding to create an Urban Design Strategy for the west area of the city centre, which will be focussed around the Galway Arts Centre building, at No.47 Lower Dominick Street and strengthening links with it and a planned creative space at Nun`s Island Theatre Site, as part of a wider agenda to revitalise heritage buildings and enhance the arts sector within the west area.

The Urban Design Strategy will be a multi- faceted strategy, based on collaboration with the local community, businesses and residents in the area, to identify and develop plans, projects and initiatives to help re-imagine the local area and to tackle regeneration, vacancy and dereliction.

Galway County Council has secured €130k to create a Ballinasloe Town Centre First Plan. The funding will also facilitate citizen engagement and address, with equal importance, the Social, Economic, Commercial, Cultural, Historic and Environmental opportunities and challenges within the town. It will consider how to best incorporate these opportunities into a comprehensive strategy of interventions, proposals, and projects which will assist in the regeneration of the town centre, making it an attractive place to live, study, work and visit.

Galway County Council has also secured €200k in funding for Tuam to develop the “Station Quarter” Masterplan, including the redevelopment of the Station Building as outlined in the Tuam Regeneration Masterplan. One of the key aims of the project is to secure further capital funding in 2025 for the renovation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings in public ownership. The project will be an opportunity for citizens to engage with their Local Authority and have their say in the revitalisation of the Station Quarter area.

THRIVE was developed by the Northern & Western Regional Assembly and the Southern Regional Assembly, working in close partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Welcoming the funding awards, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Alan Dillon TD said:

“Our towns and villages are the beating heart of rural Ireland. The Town Centre First Initiative is revitalising our communities the length and breath of the country. This initial tranche of funding under THRIVE will facilitate the development and enhancement of integrated urban strategies using a Town Centre First Approach and will assist local authorities to identify suitable projects and ensure they are ready to commence capital works.

“It is great to see 26 towns across the country progressing as the first ever Towns under the initiativAe. The next tranche of funding will support those capital works, helping our local authorities to preserve, enhance, transform and celebrate heritage buildings while rejuvenating their town centres for generations to come,” he said.

Paddy Austin, Assistant Director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, said the ERDF Northern and Western Regional Programme plays a critical role in supporting national and regional policy objectives but also a key European policy objective, to bring Europe closer to its citizens. As part of this, THRIVE funding will help local authorities to engage with their citizens to work with them to identify vacant or derelict heritage buildings that, when renovated and repurposed, can have a transformative effect on town centres.”


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