THE former Bank of Ireland building in Rathkeale is to be developed into a remote working hub and community facility under a government scheme aimed at reviving rural Ireland.
Around €7.5 million in funding to purchase and renovate 36 derelict buildings around the country has been approved under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The scheme is focused on buildings such as former Garda Stations, banks and courthouses which have become eyesores in rural towns and villages.
County Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins said there was huge disappointment when the Bank of Ireland closed in Rathkeale, so the news that the building will soon reopen as a community hub was very welcome.
“I have been working closely with the local community groups and the Council to ensure that the roll out of hubs and working spaces also included Rathkeale. I am glad that the Council and the Department responded in kind.
“Enabling remote working is a key policy of our Government and also ensuring that rural regeneration and quality of life issues are addressed is a key commitment in our programme for Government,”Deputy Collins added.
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys that the scheme was about “tackling the scourge of vacancy and dereliction” in rural towns.
“It’s about taking those old rundown buildings that have been lying idle for far too long,” she added.