Incentives and Grants

The Painting Grant Scheme: Annual funding scheme for residents and businesses to invest in building facade upgrades that improve the character of their areas.

Living City Initiative: A tax incentive for the refurbishment of historic buildings in the city centre, helping increase housing supply and tackle vacancy and dereliction.

Vacant Upper Floor Refurbishment Supports: Cork City Council is keen to fully utilize housing stock in the city centre. There are numerous buildings and upper floors lying empty, which could be made into housing accommodation. 

City Centre Placemaking Fund 2023

Wall and Steps

Stone Chessboard

Greening and urban biodiversity projects, street art, creative seating, atmospheric lighting and new unique events are just some of the projects which could be supported under the City Council’s City Centre Placemaking Fund.

The aim of this initiative is to supportprojects which will enhance, improve, and enliven people’s experience of cork city centre, increase footfall and support the local economy. Open to business network groups and community groups operating in Cork City Centre, it also strives to encourage collaboration in specific streets and neighbourhoods.

We are particularly interested in projects that contribute to the greening of the streets and encourages urban biodiversity in the city centre which may include for example window boxes, hanging baskets, outdoor areas/rooftops with pollinator friendly or edible plants, creating vertical green walls, food towers or installing bird/bat boxes or insect motels.  Projects that can demonstrate what is possible in an urban environment or that educate on this topic are welcomed.

With community-based participation at its centre, effective placemaking capitalises on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and wellbeing.  It helps local communities to re-imagine everyday spaces.

Groups can apply for up to €10,000 for capital projects although many projects may cost much less. New events may also be eligible if considered unique and contribute significantly towards the fund’s objectives.

Sculptor Clown at Douglas Street

Application forms can be downloaded here.

Alternatively they can be obtained by contacting the following:

John Hayes

Strategic & Economic Development Directorate

Cork City Council, City Hall Cork, 021 4924115

or email: (must be under 5mb).

The closing date for the receipt of applications is Friday 9th June 2023.

Sculpture on Bridge

Coloured Stone Chess Board

2023 Painting Grant Scheme – Cork City Centre Quays

The grant scheme is open to residential and commercial property owners. Successful applicants will be awarded 50% of the costs of qualifying improvement works, (i.e. painting, minor repair works to rendering, gutters, downpipes), up to the maximum value of €1,500 per building.  Corner buildings with two facades onto the street may be considered for funding up to €2,500.  

The aim of the painting grant scheme is to encourage investment in and improve the character and appearance of historic areas of the city as part of a wider regeneration programme, and to help instil pride and confidence in these areas.

More than 300 buildings have benefitted from the Paint Grant Scheme in the previous 11 years.  This City Council initiative is in its 12th year and forms part of a wider regeneration programme that includes:

  • The Living City Initiative.
  • Vacant Upper Floor Refurbishment Supports
  • Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) Grant Schemes

Applications are now open until 5pm on Friday 28th April 2023. Completed Application forms should be emailed to or sent to the Planning Policy Section, Strategic Planning & Economic Development Directorate, City Hall, Cork.   

 Please click on the link below to access the Cork City Quays map to check eligibility.

Cork City Centre Quays Map.pdf (size 2.2 MB)

The application form is available at the link below.

Painting Grant Scheme 2023 Application Form.pdf (size 2 MB)

EMAIL       CALL  021-4924115

Living City Initiative

The Living City Initiative is a tax incentive scheme focusing on the regeneration of designated Special Regeneration Areas of Cork City, to encourage people to live in the historic area of the city and regenerate residential and commercial buildings. These areas have been designated by Order of the Minister for Finance. The scheme provides for tax relief for qualifying expenditure incurred on both residential and certain commercial refurbishment and conversion work that is carried out during the qualifying period.  It does not apply to "new build".  There are 3 types of tax relief available under the Living City Initiative –

1.  An owner/occupier residential element,

2.  A rented residential element, and

3.  A retail/commercial element (owner-occupier and lessor).

The owner/occupier residential and retail/commercial elements of the scheme commenced on 5 May 2015 and the rented residential element commenced on 1 January 2017. Under Budget 2023 it was announced that the scheme is being extended until 31st December 2027, with relief available to owner-occupiers to be accelerated so that it may be claimed over 7 years instead of 10 years as is the case currently.  In order to qualify for the tax relief, the expenditure on refurbishment or conversion must be incurred within the appropriate period as set out above.  

Full details of the scheme can be found here: Living City Initiative Information

Living City Initiative Residential Application Form: Living City Initiative Residential Application form .pdf (size 834.8 KB)

Examples of how the scheme can work

The following examples of how the scheme may apply to you can be found on the Revenues website (31/01/2017):

Example 1: Owner/Occupier Residential Relief
Example 2: Refurbished/Converted Property Acquired from a Builder
Example 3: Owner/Occupier Residential Use of Property
Example 4: Rented Residential Relief

Further Information

Cork City Council assesses and certifies the residential element of the scheme.  Applications on commercial properties are assessed and certified directly by Revenue. 

Cork City Council can advise if the location of the property and the nature of the works meet the criteria of the scheme. 

To check if your property is in a Special Regeneration Area in Cork City, please click on the Public Map Viewer.

For queries email

Vacant Upper Floor Refurbishment Supports‌

Cork City Council is keen to fully utilize housing stock in the city centre. There are numerous buildings and upper floors lying empty, which could be made into housing accommodation. There are a number of supports to assist owners convert these empty spaces into homes. Cork City Council are also available to provide information and guidance. The following supports are available:

Repair and Lease Scheme: A new Repair and Leasing Scheme has been developed to bring vacant properties into social housing use. The scheme is aimed at owners of vacant properties, who cannot afford the repairs needed to bring their property up to the standard for renting. Please see: or contact Cork City Council, Housing Department 021-4924796

Better Energy Homes Scheme: The Better Energy Homes scheme gives grants to homeowners to improve energy efficiency in their homes. Landlords and owners of more than one property can also apply for a grant under the scheme.   Please See:

Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme: The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme aims to improve the energy efficiency and warmth of homes owned by people on low incomes. It is operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Please see:

Grants for solar panels and battery systems: The Solar PV Scheme provides a once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and/or a battery energy storage system in homes. The Solar PV Scheme is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Please see:

Built Heritage Investment Scheme: Financial assistance is provided to assist with the conservation and restoration of heritage properties through schemes, which are generally administered by the local authorities. Please see:

Living City Tax Initiative: Tax relief is provided in exchange for refurbishing or converting existing properties within the designated area in Cork City. A property can be a house, apartment, shop or any kind of structure and can include all or part of a property.

Please see:

Architectural Conservation Area Grant:  Cork City Council has annually allocated funds to the scheme to assist the owners of historic buildings in the 36+ Architectural Conservation Areas across Cork City to undertake works necessary to secure their conservation.  Works can include repairs to roof, historic windows, historic doors, repair of elevations, repairs to historic ironwork / boundary treatments, repairs to historic shopfronts / other special building details and painting of buildings.  Please see:

 Long-term leasing scheme:  This new initiative represents an expansion of the options available to Cork City Council for the delivery of social housing. Properties will be leased from the private sector and used to accommodate households from the waiting list. Leased properties will be allocated to tenants, in accordance with Cork City Council's scheme of letting priorities.

Please see:

 Buy and Renew Scheme: The Buy and Renew Scheme enables Cork City Council to buy and refurbish long term vacant property for social housing use. The focus under the Buy and Renew scheme will be on older stock in urban areas with a view to tackling dereliction and improving streetscapes.  We would like to hear from interested property owners, who may have suitable vacant properties. Contact Cork City Council Housing Department 021-4924796.