Funding Streams

The TCF Policy will assist in the co-ordinated alignment of various new and existing funding streams to support the implementation of the TCF Plans on the ground.

This includes funds such as the:

• Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF)

• Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF)

• Housing for All Crói Cónaithe (Towns) fund

• Investment supports from the forthcoming ERDF programme for Towns via the Regional Assemblies

• Active Travel Fund

• Town & Village Renewal Scheme

• Climate adaptation/retrofitting

• Built Heritage supports such as the Historic Towns Initiative (HTI).

Urban and Rural Regeneration Funds

The Urban (URDF) and Rural (RRDF) Regeneration Funds were established under the National Development Plan to support the objectives of the National Planning Framework.  The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) supports urban regeneration/compact urban growth in cities/towns with a population of over 10,000, and enables a greater proportion of residential and mixed used development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and make them more attractive and vibrant places.

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) supports the regeneration and development of rural towns, villages and outlying areas. The purpose is to support job creation in rural areas, address de-population of rural communities and support improvements in our towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000.

The Urban and Rural Regeneration Funds were established in support of more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s cities, towns and villages, and National Development Plan. This is to enable a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and to ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and  vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.

In addition to the URDF and RRDF there are a wide range of key policies currently place which support the regeneration, development and renewal of towns and their environs.

URDF Call 3 Funding

Carlow County Council received confirmation on 14th July 2023 that we have been approved under the above funding stream for a programme to the value of €1.5m.

Distinct from previous URDF funding calls, the third round of funding support will act as a dedicated revolving fund designed to address the financial barrier and risk faced by local authorities in seeking to address long term vacant and derelict properties across their URDF towns and cities.  This funding is being made available for local authorities to acquire long term vacant or derelict properties for onward sale or re-use. The Revolving URDF Fund will be replenished from the proceeds received from the sale or reuse of properties and sites, allowing a local authority to establish a rolling programme of acquisitions to tackle long term vacancy and dereliction.

In March this year the Council submitted a list of 19 potential properties to the Department for consideration under this URDF Call.  The Department have approved 10 of the 19 proposed properties and the €1.5m funding which has been secured will now be utilised for acquiring these properties for onward sale on the open market.

The Town Centre First team have this week begun activating these 10 properties in order to engage with the owners to either – voluntarily acquire the property or where possible to assist the owner in bringing the property back in to use themselves, or where necessary, such as where a property is unregistered or engagement with the owner is not possible, to acquire the property compulsorily.

These properties are not being targeted with a view to retaining them as Local Authority stock for use as Social Housing, they are solely being targeted for onward sale.  This is a very important funding stream and programme that is being made available to Local Authorities to further assist in tackling the existing housing crisis outside of our normal role as a Housing Authority.

Other Funds

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme provides funding of up to €200,000, (increased to €500,000 max) to support the economic and social recovery of rural towns with a population of less than 10,000, and focusses on projects that have clear positive impacts on the town in terms of placemaking and town centre regeneration. It has also provided specific funding for streetscapes enhancements in 2021. 

The new Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund for servicing sites for new homes in regional towns and villages and to support refurbishment of vacant houses.  Public infrastructure agencies, such as Irish Water, and local communities will work to provide serviced sites for housing. This will help attract people to build their own homes and live in small towns and villages.

The European Regional Development Fund, which is managed in Ireland by our Regional Assemblies are currently developing their 2021-2027 programme. It has been indicated that 8% of Ireland’s total provision must be dedicated to urban areas. It is envisaged that the tackling of vacancy and dereliction in towns, in support of the Town Centre First approach, will be a particular emphasis for this future round of this element of funding, which is to be agreed by early 2022.

The Historic Towns Initiative funds works to significant historic buildings, streetscape conservation and enhancement, and public realm works so that heritage can be used to regenerate urban centres.

The “Destination Towns” initiative seeks to develop the tourism potential of destination towns, and to create a sense of place in towns across Ireland, attracting visitors to the area and helping to provide the necessary infrastructure to support regional growth in the tourism industry.