New ‘Town Center First’ policy will revitalize Tipperary towns – Ahearn

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New ‘downtown first’ policy will revitalize county towns and benefit local residents
communities, said a Fine Gael senator.
Senator Garret Ahearn said: “Fine Gael is working to create
communities and this new “downtown first” policy is essential in this regard. It is designed
support the regeneration of our towns and villages with targeted funding to support
above the shops and the city center.
“This ambitious and ambitious policy contains a set of measures and financing
support aimed at making the towns of Tipperary more viable and attractive places by
where to live, work and visit, while ensuring that they are social, cultural and service
hubs for the local community.
“The ‘Town Centers First’ policy contains a major new strategy to combat vacancy,
fighting against abandonment and reviving town centres. It was a key
priority for Fine Gael and on which we have worked a lot. A recent
policy paper from my colleagues, Deputy Minister Emer Higgins and Senator John Cummins,
submit 26 proposals for consideration, which could improve the
number of vacant units becoming available for anticipated use.
“This major new policy will be a game-changer for Tipperary with the
local communities and businesses are key to reinventing and planning their own
the future thanks to a tailor-made plan. Our municipalities will benefit from state funding,
which will highlight the importance of city centers as the central hub of our
communities.
“It is really important that this ambitious program is supported by important
Government funding.
“It is backed by multi-billion euro investments spread across key governments
programs such as the Regeneration and Rural Development Fund (RRDF), the
Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), Crói Conaithe Fund (Cities)
and the town and village renewal plan. Last year, more than 410 million euros were
distributed nationally under the URDF and I understand that a new call will be opened
shortly, focused specifically on supporting our town centers in places like Tipperary.
“For the first time, cities will also have their own dedicated city regeneration
Officers, who will be crucial in driving future development. They will be full time
dedicated positions within Tipperary County Council in conjunction with municipal teams and

local business groups to design and implement urban plans. They will also work on
identify derelict buildings and help bring them back into use, a key objective of
downtown politics first,” said Deputy/Senator Garret Ahearn.
In releasing the plan, Rural and Community Development Minister Heather
Humphreys TD, said:
“Many of our cities are facing significant challenges, especially as a result of the
pandemic. The rebirth of the city requires a coordinated and global response.
Through Town Center First, the government will provide cities with the supports,
resources and funding to enable them to develop a coherent vision of their future and
to take charge of their future. Major funding programs such as the Rural
Regeneration and Development Fund and Urban Regeneration and Development Fund
The Development Fund will help transform cities. This approach will help ensure that
across Ireland, our town centers can be vibrant and attractive places to live, work and
visit.”
Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD, said:
“Local authorities will play a vital role in helping cities shape their future. City
Reclamation agents and technical expertise will help local municipal teams to
formulate their local responses and access funding for regeneration. The National
Town Center First Office will help pilot this new approach to revitalizing town centers
and bring together actors who can help cities achieve a vision for their
future.”
“We know that many of our town centers are underutilized for housing and have
Limited housing choice despite proximity to all amenities and public services. We
are determined to act accordingly and ensure that we fight abandonment by providing new
and the supply of much-needed housing within our city limits”.

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