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O’Shea urges local communities to submit proposal under €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

O’Shea urges local communities to submit proposal under €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has urged local communities to submit proposals for the latest round of funding under the Government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund as part of Project Ireland 2040.  

Cllr. O’Shea highlighted the recently successful application by Banteer Community Sportsfield and the awarding of €1.128 million for ambitious new facilities, including the construction of a regulation-sized Astroturf pitch, a state-of-the-art lighting system and a covered spectator stand.  

Cllr. O’Shea’s colleague and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, officially launched the second call for proposals last Friday, 12 April. The launch took place at the Bluestack Centre in County Donegal where the Minister was hosting a ‘Rural Opportunity’ briefing for community and voluntary groups in the region. 

Commenting on the latest call for proposals, Cllr. O’Shea said Banteer should be held up as an example of what can be achieved when a community has a specific proposal that is shovel-ready. “Banteer is a community that has always worked together and it is to their credit that it received such a substantial amount of funding in the first round of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. 

“On a recent visit to Banteer with the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, I was hugely impressed by both the existing facilities at the Sportsfield and the plans for upgrading and expanding these facilities. The fact that Banteer had specific plans that were shovel-ready was a strong positive when the community made its proposal, and that should be something that other communities interested in making a proposal pay heed to.” 

Under Project Ireland 2040, the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, will provide €1 billion in investment over 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas. Initial funding of €315 million is being allocated on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022. Under the first call, €86 million in funding for projects throughout the country was announced. 

This second call for proposals will focus on Category 1 capital regeneration projects which are ready to commence. Through a competitive process the Fund will support collaborative projects in rural settlements of less than 10,000, with funding available of at least €500,000. 

The types of initiatives which the Fund will support in the second call include: 

  • – Measures to address infrastructural deficiencies that are instrumental to and part of town and village regeneration 
  • – Measures to address building vacancy in order to encourage town centre regeneration, including building refurbishment, redevelopment and/or demolition 
  • – Improving public amenity and public realm in towns and villages and the development of recreational facilities 
  • – Projects which deliver on multiple objectives, for example, delivering a town centre regeneration project which also contributes to economic, tourism, community or cultural development 
  • – Projects which take an integrated approach to developing employment opportunities within a town or its environs 
  • – Projects that support job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation 
  • Development or expansion of tourism initiatives which generate new areas of economic activity and attract increased visitor numbers to rural areas. 

Key policy priorities for this call include building the resilience of communities to face- the challenges posed by Brexit outcomes and assisting in the transition to a competitive, low carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy. 

The Fund will be open to Local Authorities, Local Development Companies, State agencies, other Government Departments, philanthropic funders, the private sector and communities.  The Lead Partner must be a State-funded body. 

The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 12 noon on Tuesday, 6 August 2019. Applications can be submitted electronically on the official Application Form, which is available on the website of the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is anticipated that successful projects will be announced in October 2019. 

It is expected that a call for Category 2 proposals (funding to enable projects develop to category 1 application stage) will be announced in October 2019. 

Full details of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, along with the Application Form, are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website, at