Every street corner, every meandering alleyway, every old shop façade tells its own story. Our streetscapes are woven into the heart of Irish life and are a crucial part of our heritage. The Historic Towns Initiative – run by The Heritage Council in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage – aims to protect and preserve a vital thread in Ireland’s past. This year, a €1.5m fund had been made available for the heritage-led regeneration of 10 towns after a competitive process. These include Tralee, Co Kerry; Ballyshannon, Co Donegal; Ballina, Co Mayo; Roscommon, Co Roscommon; Sligo, Co Sligo; Tramore, Co Waterford; Birr, Co Offaly; Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; Navan, Co Meath and Callan, Co Kilkenny. The money will provide a vital jobs boost and act as an economic stimulus, helping to rebuild local economies with heritage as a focal point. The Initiative follows on from similar highly successful programmes in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Last year, €1m in funding was available under this scheme. In today’s podcast, Ian Doyle, Head of Conservation with The Heritage Council, explains the key components of the scheme, and how it plays into an overall heritage strategy. The programme is a joint initiative between the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and the Heritage Council.