Dozens of buildings such as former Garda stations, banks and courthouses are set to be transformed for community use under €13 million in funding to be announced on Monday.
Local authorities will be able to apply for up to €500,000 each to buy as many as three properties under further funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The aim of the scheme, which is under the remit of Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys’s department, is to tackle vacancy and dereliction in rural areas. More than €149 million has been allocated to more than 1,600 projects since the launch of the scheme in 2016.
Buildings previously bought under the scheme include a former Garda station in Ashford, Co Wicklow, and a former bank in Lismore, Co Waterford.
Ms Humphreys said the scheme has allowed councils to buy buildings that have been “lying idle” for years.
“These properties are now being given a new lease of life and repurposed for 21st century use,” she said.
Ms Humphreys said the further funding of €13 million has been allocated due to the success of the scheme.
“The properties that will be purchased will be taken into public ownership and, most importantly, will be turned into spaces where the local community can gather and hold events.”