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Regeneration of Ireland’s historic towns continues as €1 million in funding announced for 2020

Conservation and Heritage-led projects nationwide
Heritage helping to improve quality of life for all in our towns

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, today launched the 2020 Historic Towns Initiative, providing €1 million in funding for heritage-led regeneration in our historic towns.

The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2020 is a joint undertaking by the Department and the Heritage Council. It builds upon the successful HTI 2018 and 2019 projects, which together funded conservation-led projects in twelve towns across the country.

In 2019, projects were funded in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Kilrush, County Clare, Boyle, County Roscommon, Navan, County Meath, Nenagh, County Tipperary and Ballina, County Mayo.

Making the announcement, Minister Madigan said:

I am delighted to launch another year of the Historic Towns Initiative, which will support the regeneration of even more Irish historic towns. This Initiative will make €1 million available to a number of towns which will in turn help drive investment and renewal.

Heritage-led regeneration can breathe new life into a town, helping to provide an attractive environment where people can live and work. The renewed vibrancy in the heart of a town brings its own economic benefits as footfall and visitor numbers increases and new light shines into once-vacant commercial and residential premises.

Commenting on the Historic Towns Initiative, Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr Michael Parsons said:

Programmes such as this rely on the strength of local communities and businesses in caring for their historic town. With support from local and national government we can use heritage to improve the quality of life for all in our historic towns.

A town seeking to benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants.

The HTI 2020 is open for applications from local authorities from 5 December 2019. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. The closing date is 7 February 2020.

The Heritage Council will host a workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2020 in its offices in Kilkenny on 10 January 2020.

For more information about the Historic Towns Initiative visit

Note to Editors:

About the Heritage Council: The Heritage Council was established under the Heritage Act 1995 with responsibility to propose polices and priorities for the national heritage. It works in co-operation with a range of agencies, communities and individuals to promote education, enjoyment and understanding of our national heritage. For further information, visit:


About the Historic Towns Initiative 2020: Administered by the Heritage Council, the HTI programme is intended to support a small number of towns in 2020. Applications will only be accepted from local authorities and funding will be allocated on a competitive basis in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the guidelines at

Applications will be assessed by the HTI National Steering Group who will make recommendations to the Board of the Heritage Council for funding under the programme.