Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Rural and Community Development

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Photo of Tom NevilleTom Neville (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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36. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the rural regeneration and development fund; the role the fund is having in rural regeneration in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43810/19]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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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.

Arising from the first call, I allocated €7,757,392 in funding to projects in County Limerick. Some of the successful projects included:

- The expansion of the Great Southern Greenway which received €2.7 million in funding;

- The construction of a multi-purpose community building in Murrow which received €3.8 million in funding; and

- The development of the West Limerick Tourism Gateway which received €330,000 in funding.

The second call for Category 1 applications for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund closed on 6 August 2019. Category 1 projects are projects which have all necessary planning and other consents in place and are ready to proceed.  I expect to be in a position to announce the successful Category 1 projects from the second call shortly.

It is planned that the second call for Category 2 applications, which relate to projects which need further development to be ready for Category 1 status, will open later in the year. 

In conclusion, it is important to note that this is a 10 year Fund and those who are considering applications can plan with the knowledge that the Fund will be there when their proposals are ready.  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.


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