Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has visited County Tipperary to open and visit new rural development projects that have received investment of over €7 million from her Department.
The visit is part of a nationwide tour to promote Our Rural Future, the Government’s new rural development strategy, which aims to revitalise towns and villages, promote remote working, and ensure balanced regional development.
The Minister’s visit began in Carrick on Suir where she unveiled new enhancements to the Suir Blueway designed to improve accessibility and upgrade existing walking and cycling routes.
While in Carrick on Suir the Minister also visited Stable Lane Digital Hub, which provides co-working and hot-desking facilities. The Hub, which was recently awarded funding from the Minister’s Department, is part of Government’s Connected Hubs initiative which aims to maximise opportunities for remote working in rural areas.
The next stop was in Clonmel where the Minister officially opened the refurbished Suir Island House. This refurbishment and the re-watering of Mill Race at Suir Island, were part of the Suir Blueway project funded under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The Minister then went on to Tipperary Town for the official opening of the Market Yard, part of the Tipperary Town Regeneration Project.
The new Market Yard will breathe new life into the town with a number of benefits including larger pedestrianised areas and space for outdoor market stalls.
Speaking in Tipperary Town the Minister said, “I know the enhancement of the Market Yard has been a long term goal of the community and Tipperary County Council and I wish to congratulate you on delivering this project. Tipperary Town will be further enhanced when the second part of this project, the River Ara Walkway is completed, linking the town centre with the natural amenity of the River Ara. Investing in projects like these underpins my determination as Minister to ensure our town centres are vibrant and attractive places to live, work and to visit.”
The next stop on the itinerary was a visit to Thurles, to review another large regeneration project that will involve the renovation of a vacant 19th century agricultural building to create the Thurles Market Quarter.
The project was originally awarded over €2.8 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) and the Minister recently approving additional funding of €549,269 to ensure it is completed to a high standard.
The Minister then departed for Templemore to turn the sod on a new Cultural and Enterprise Centre and Civic Plaza.
The project was previously approved for funding of €2.1 million under the RRDF.
When complete, it will conserve and re-establish Templemore Town Hall as the economic, cultural and community hub of the town.
Speaking in Templemore the Minister said, “I am delighted to be here today to witness the commencement of this hugely promising project for Templemore and County Tipperary. The regeneration of the historic town centre and the creation of the new multi-functional centre will transform Templemore into a tourism, cultural and education destination. The new centre will include an innovation space, remote working facilities and training, support and advisory services. These facilities are essential to providing an opportunity for more people to live in rural communities while following their career ambitions.”
The visit concluded with the official opening of new amenities at Garrykennedy Forest Walk which were funded through the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme.