By Claire Henry
Portumna Courthouse has been allocated over €2.5m for a major redevelopment project to see the vacant building become a new multi-purpose arts centre and outdoor social space.
The funding, which is being provided under the €1bn Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, will support the critical objectives of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious new policy for Rural Ireland.
Minister of State and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, announced €2.55m for the redevelopment of ‘Portumna Courthouse Arts Centre’ as part of one of 24 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country.
The fund has provided €243m for 163 projects across Ireland, worth a total of €326m.
The Department’s new rural development policy, Our Rural Future, was launched on 29 March. The Government have called it the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.
After being vacant for two decades, the courthouse will be the site of new multi-purpose art, performance, remote working and social space, with the courtyard becoming an outdoor social space.
“This is a major investment for Portumna and one I’ve long called for. Only before Christmas, I met with officials in Galway County Council to walk through the plans and why such a project was important for the town and the surrounding areas. It’s undoubtedly a major coup for the town.
“Such a project will support remote workers and commuters to work from and remain in their local community. Without such initiatives, we can’t expect people to stay in towns like Portumna, and it gives people more reasons to stay local. It breathes new life into the town,” she said.
Ms Rabbitte also added that local communities across the country have led the way on remote working.
“This project will not only enable people to live and work in their community, but they will also see the iconic town centre building given a new lease of life and increase football for local businesses,” she said.
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