Almost €5m boost for Cork town and village as part of national rural regeneration project

Almost €5m boost for Cork town and village as part of national rural regeneration project

The main street looking towards the Clock Tower in Youghal, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

More than €4 million is to be spent transforming a derelict site and buildings on the main street in Youghal into a new library, remote learning hub and community space.

The development is one of 24 projects nationwide, announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys this morning. 

“These projects will breathe new life into towns and villages across the country making them attractive and vibrant places for people to live, work, socialise and raise a family." 

The minister has announced €75 million in funding for the regeneration projects in rural communities across the country.

Old Cinemas, courthouses, hotels, convents, and market houses across Ireland are to be transformed into remote working hubs, libraries, e-learning, cultural, enterprise and community spaces. 

Second project in Cork

Ballydesmond is also set to benefit under the scheme, with €774,000 allocated to a public realm project for the village. 

This project is focused on the centre of Ballydesmond, 'delivering key village centre improvements, including enhanced streetscapes, walkways and park areas'. 

Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said: “Just three weeks ago, the Government launched Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.

“Today we are putting that policy firmly into action and delivering major investment aimed at town centre regeneration and supporting remote working." 

It is hoped the Youghal project, which has been allocated €4,048,511 will 'significantly enhance the character and streetscape in the heart of the town centre'.

Welcoming news of the project, Cork East TD James O'Connor, highlighted that the new library will provide additional study spaces and learning facilities. 

"With the growth in remote learning, it is important that the government would help students access proper facilities for studying," he said. "We must remember that many students don't always have appropriate space in their homes for education and study. This situation was not helped by the pandemic. 

"Our libraries are also critical to continued professional development and adult learning. 

"This development will provide a state of the art learning facility for the people of East Cork."

There will also be facilities available for community groups in the region.

"This will be a remarkable project for Youghal's North Main Street and we will see the renovation of a number of derelict buildings on the site of the new library," Mr O'Connor said. "I am very hopeful that funding will be granted to Midleton library in the near future too. 

"I want to wish the wonderful staff at Youghal library the best of luck with this development." 

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