Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
117. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress made to date with the roll-out of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund of €1 billion; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37162/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 113 and 117 together.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) forms part of the wider rural regeneration and development programme which also includes the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
In terms of RRDF Category 1 (Major Projects), three calls for applications have been completed to date, while two calls for applications have been completed in relation to Category 2 (Seed Funding). Arising from the outcome of these calls, 89 Category 1 projects have been approved for funding of €215 million for projects worth €292 million. 75 Category 2 projects have been approved for funding of €34 million for projects worth €46 million. In total, funding of €249 million has been approved to date for 164 projects worth a total of €338 million.
The most recent announcement in relation to the Fund was the completion of the third call for Category 1 applications in April 2021, with 25 projects emerging as successful and funding of €81 million allocated.
Unfortunately, significant delays in the delivery of projects funded through the RRDF and other schemes have been experienced due to the pandemic and its effects on the construction sector. However, with construction now fully underway it is expected that strong progress will be achieved on projects for the remainder of the year and, consequently, drawdown by lead parties will accelerate significantly. The total spend to date in relation to the 164 approved projects stands at €70.74 million.
I announced the third call for Category 2 applications in May 2021. The closing date for applications was 30th July 2021 at 12 pm. An application and guidance document is available on my Department's website.