The first successful applicants under the Government’s €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which aims to breathe new life in Ireland’s smaller towns and villages, have been announced. An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, and the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, recently announced the first successful applicants under the fund, which will help transform rural communities over the next ten years.
In total over the next decade, €1 billion in funding will be allocated for rural communities with a population of fewer that 10,000, as part of the wider Project Ireland 2040 plan to redevelop Ireland. In welcoming the announcement, North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea said the Fund aims to rejuvenate smaller town, villages and rural areas, generate job opportunities in rural areas, and help communities to improve their quality of life.
More than 290 projects applied for this first stage, with the focus in this round on heritage and tourism, infrastructural
Over the next four years, €315 million will be invested in rural communities through the Fund. Cllr. O’Shea said: “These Funds represent a new and innovative approach to investment and capital spending in Ireland. It’s about making rural Ireland a more attractive place to stay, move into, or run a business. These Funds are competitive and open to a wide variety of partners, so if you have an idea to improve your area, develop new technologies, encourage climate action, you have the opportunity to make a real difference.”
Further announcements of successful projects will be made early in 2019. Project Ireland 2040 encompasses four funding branches, totaling €4 billion: €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, €1 billion Rural Regeneration and