The centre of Youghal is set to be transformed. Photo: Discover Ireland

€4m to transform Youghal centre

The historic centre of Youghal is set to be transformed after €4m in funding was announced this week as part of 24 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country.

Total funding of €75 million was announced under the €1 Billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund as part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s new policy for Rural Ireland.

In Youghal, a number of derelict buildings on North Main Street will be renovated and extended to create a modern and fully restored library. The new library will reinvigorate the town centre and provide essential community facilities and services, including remote learning resources and an accessible public space in the town for residents and visitors.

A collection of derelict buildings on Ballydesmond is also set to benefit with funding of €774,000 secured, which will be supplemented by Cork County Council for a total project cost of €860,000. These monies will be focused on improvement works for the town centre, including key village centre developments such as enhanced streetscapes, walkways and park areas.

A key component of Project Ireland 2040, the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund sets out to support the rejuvenation of communities, job creation and transform rural economies.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the news: “These two projects will provide a fantastic boost for the communities of Youghal and Ballydesmond. As a long-time campaigner and former member of the council’s library committee, I was always aware of the potential for a successful funding announcement considering the council’s long-term plan for a new town library and calibre of Cork County Council’s applications.

“The people of Youghal will welcome a longed-for permanent library and Ballydesmond is set to see a new town vista. We have two very positive projects ahead and I look forward to seeing both progress.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added: “These successful projects will play an important role in Cork County Council’s continued focus toward supporting economic and social growth across county towns.

“Each town will be able to take full advantage of their unique potential, an approach which forms part of Cork County Council’s wider town framework plans and provide excellent local amenities.”

The Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys launched the funding this week.

She said: “A large number of these projects also include significant public realm works such as developing new pedestrian areas in town centres, creating new green areas and developing new outdoor public spaces for community and cultural events – these projects will help to make our towns attractive, lived in and vibrant places.

“You are seeing Our Rural Future in action – and this is only the beginning. In the coming weeks, I will be inviting new applications under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and bringing forward an enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme which will provide rural communities with more opportunities to make exciting and impactful projects like these a reality,” she concluded.