Hometown Architect initiative to help rejuvinate town centres

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The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is calling on community groups and local architects to get together to develop projects for regenerating their local town or village centres.

A new initiative called ‘Hometown Architect’ is inviting groups across Galway to create and submit a project in partnership with an architect who has a connection to their town or village.

The architect can either be currently living in Galway, have grown up there, or have family in the locality.

The call focuses particularly on smaller towns and villages where accessing funding and resources can often be a challenge.

Five successful projects will be selected out of the total number submitted from across Ireland and will be awarded €10,000 each, to bring their proposals to life.

Submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts, including architects, IAF staff and Town Centre First Policy experts.

Full details about the ‘Hometown Architect’ open call, including the project brief and application form, are available from the website ReimaginePlace.ie/open-call.

Projects should focus on town centre regeneration and can involve encouraging increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages, addressing the issue of vacant properties, and highlighting the economic, social, and cultural importance of Irish towns and villages.

Projects can also examine how changing patterns of work can transform the way people live, to reverse the trends of suburban sprawl, commuter belts and hollowed-out town centres.

Submissions should also align with the Town Centre First Policy published by the Irish Government earlier this year.

This policy aims to promote the regeneration of town and village centres across Ireland, and to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit.

Two online information sessions about the ‘Hometown Architect’ initiative for interested communities will take place from 12 – 1pm on Wednesday, 23 November and from 12pm -1pm on Tuesday, 13 December.

To register, visit the Reimagine ‘Hometown Architect’ website.

The deadline for submissions is 16 January 2023. The five successful overall projects will be announced in early February 2023.