Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Rural Regeneration and Development Fund
24. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the rural regeneration development fund; the impact the fund will have on counties, for example, County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30082/19]
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund seeks to support ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. The Government has committed €1 billion over 10 years to the Fund and €315 million is allocated to the Fund for the period 2019-2022.
Following the conclusion of the first call under the Fund in February 2019, a total of 84 successful projects had been announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund to support projects worth a total of €117m.
Amongst the successful projects was the development of a regeneration plan for the core area of Kinnegad, including plans for the development of a public library and educational campus and a park and community facility in the town centre. The project received €600,000 in funding.
The successful projects under the first call from the Fund were spread across a wide range of sectors – from tourism and enterprise development to heritage protection to community facilities. The projects are located across the country and I believe that their delivery will achieve significant benefits not just for counties but across regions.
I announced the second call for Category 1 applications - those with full planning and consents in place - in April 2019, with a closing date for applications at noon on Tuesday, 6thAugust 2019. Category 2 applications, relating to projects which need further development to be ready for Category 1 status, will be sought later in the year.
This is a 10 year Fund and I am asking that all local authorities, State agencies, LEADER Local Action Groups and other potential lead parties work with rural communities to identify and develop ambitious projects which will deliver significant regeneration and development to their areas.My Department will work with you to ensure the greatest possible impacts are realised by the support provided by the Fund in the years ahead.
25. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of rural regeneration and development funding applications approved and payment has issued in regard to same in counties Cavan and Monaghan to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30074/19]
The first call for applications to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund closed in September 2019. Following the conclusion of the first call to the Fund in February 2019, a total of 84 successful projects had been announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund. This funding supported a total investment of €117m by these projects in rural areas.
Of the 84 successful projects, 3 are located in County Cavan and 4 in County Monaghan. Total funding of €4.9 million was approved for the seven projects, €3.9m in Monaghan and €1m in Cavan.
Following the announcement of the successful projects, my Department engaged with each lead party to complete due diligence requirements. Contractual arrangements were also drawn up with the release of funding based on the achievement of key milestones in the projects. To date, one of the 7 projects in Cavan and Monaghan, Cootehill Industrial Park in Cavan, has reached its first milestone and has drawn down €254,922 from the Fund.
I am satisfied that significant progress is already being made on the implementation of successful projects, in Cavan, Monaghan and elsewhere. To date, a total of €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund. I expect that payments from the Fund will significantly accelerate over the coming weeks and months as further milestones are achieved across all the 84 projects.