Cash Incentives to Restore Properties in Rural Areas

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Rural Action Plan Highlights:

  • Approx 20,000€ grant to fund renovations in homes bought by First Time Buyers in rural towns and villages; pilot to be rolled out to see the level of interest, timeline Q3 2017. Full details and amounts have yet to be released.
  • Fibre to Home broadband to connect all rural areas to high speed broadband; the initiative is already out to tender.
  • Peat and turf pilot scheme: new plan to curb the use of solid fuel as primary heat source in rural homes; details have yet to be released.
  • A voluntary homeowners relocation scheme for those affected by flooding; details have yet to be released.

Cash grants for refurbishing old buildings in rural communities have been given the green light in the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural Potential, unveiled on Monday January 23rd.

The scheme is aimed at luring residents back into rural communities damaged by unemployment during the recession.

The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs told SelfBuild their aim was to launch this scheme on a pilot basis in the second half of this year. A Q3 date is recorded in the published Action Plan.

Collaboration with various government Departments will be necessary to finalise the details. The DAHRRGA said the scheme was intended to “encourage people to take up residential occupancy in rural towns and villages”.

People buying houses in designated rural towns would be given cash grants to renovate their new homes. This would be in addition to the tax relief available under the Help to Buy scheme.

A fibre-to-the home broadband initiative is also being rolled out to provide high speed broadband to remote rural areas.

Another pilot scheme will target people living in rural Ireland who are dependent on solid fuels as their primary source of heat. Announcing this pilot, Minister for Energy Denis Naughten said: “I accept that the use of peat and turf can at times be a contentious subject. But, through this pilot I am confident it will provide tangible evidence that managing our peat lands will lead to warmer homes, to reduced bills, to job creation and to a sustainable future for rural Ireland.”

For more information see

The Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast will be the setting for SelfBuild & Improve Your Home Show in February 2017. With over 250 exhibitors and new features, this is a show not to be missed. For your FREE tickets CLICK HERE or for more information on the show visit

**This show will be applicable for both Northern and Republic of Ireland

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About Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email

6 thoughts on “Cash Incentives to Restore Properties in Rural Areas

    • Astrid Madsen Post author

      Hi Patricia, at this stage this is only a pilot scheme, details of which have yet to emerge. We’ll keep this page and our Facebook page updated with any developments.

    • Astrid Madsen Post author

      Hi Shona, this is all the information we’ve been able to get from the DAHRRGA; we asked for more details, i.e. confirm it would be for first-time buyers only, clarify where the pilot would be rolled out and whether the approximate 20k figure mentioned by Minister Humphreys could be confirmed. Their reply today was: “The proposed scheme to encourage people to take up residential occupancy in rural towns and villages will be launched on a pilot basis in 2017. The details of the scheme will be finalised through collaboration with relevant Departments with a view to launching the pilot early in the second half of the year.”

  1. Richard Clarke

    Hi .we bought a 1920.s farm house which needed / needs major refurbishment..and still have a lot to do .based in contact galway ..just wondering what the grant is eligible for …I think it’s a great incentive to develop small communities …anyone I can talk to about eligibility ??

    • Astrid Madsen Post author

      Hi Richard, the pilot scheme has not been launched yet and we’re waiting for details on how it will operate. The body responsible for rolling out this pilot is the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Sorry we don’t have further information at this stage.


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