Vermont Downtown Program

The Vermont Downtown Program was established in 1994 to provide technical assistance and training to communities and help them develop skills and strategies for their downtown revitalization efforts. It is part of the Vermont Department of Historic Preservation.

Downtown Designation

The 1998 Downtown Development Act provides substantial support for downtown revitalization. Towns that receive downtown designation under the Act are eligible for a number of benefits, including tax credits, loans and grants from various state agencies. To qualify, towns must develop a comprehensive revitalization strategy for the downtown district and demonstrate broad-based community support. The strategy must involve a long-term commitment to enhancing economic opportunities, preserving historic buildings, and improving public spaces and infrastructure in the commercial district. Interested communities should contact the Vermont Downtown Program for more information. While participation in the Vermont Downtown Program’s Comprehensive Training Program is recommended, it is not required for downtown designation.

The following towns have Downtown Designation status in our region:

Town NameExpiration Date
Hartford - White River JunctionSeptember 2024
RandolphOctober 2024

Village Center Designation

The Second Downtown Development Act (2002) created a new level of designation for Village Centers. Village centers are eligible for benefits including tax credits and priority consideration from other state programs and agencies.

The Following Towns have Village Designation status in our region:

Town NameExpiration Date
BarnardNovember 2024
BethelMay 2024
BradfordMay 2024
BrookfieldJanuary 2027
Corinth: East CorinthJanuary 2029
Corinth: CookevilleJanuary 2029
ChelseaApril 2026
FairleeJanuary 2023
HancockMarch 2022
Hartford Village CenterMarch 2025
June 2025
Hartland: Hartland 4 CornerNovember 2025
Hartland: North HartlandNovember 2025
Hartland 3 Corners
November 2025
Newbury January 2024
PittsfieldNovember 2023
RandolphEast Randolph 2028
RochesterSeptember 2026
South RoyaltonMarch 2024
RoyaltonMarch 2024
SharonJuly 2023
Strafford: South StraffordSeptember 2026
StraffordSeptember 2026
Thetford Village Designation: East ThetfordApril 2029
Thetford Village Designation: North ThetfordApril 2029
Thetford Village Designation: Thetford CenterApril 2029
Thetford Village Designation: Thetford HillApril 2029
Thetford Village Designation: Post MillsApril 2029
TunbridgeFebruary 2026
North Tunbridge
February 2026
Lower GranvilleJuly 2022
Upper GranvilleJuly 2022
Wells RiverJanuary 2024
WoodstockMay 2024

For more information on the Vermont Downtown and Village Designation program, go to the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Revitalization web site. Instructions on how a community can apply for Downtown or Village Designation can be downloaded from this site.

TRORC can help you apply for Downtown or Village designation. Most of the towns in our region are of a size where Village Designation is most appropriate. To date we have applied for and successfully received village designation for 34 villages and 2 downtowns throughout our region. We can assist you with the entire process, including education about the program, application and mapping free of cost.

Staff Contact

Sarah Wraight

[email protected]