The National Development Plan provides for an allocation of €1 billion for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to enable towns, villages and outlying rural areas to grow sustainably and support delivery of the strategic objectives of the National Planning Framework.
The Fund will be a key driver in supporting the revitalisation of rural Ireland, delivering a significant and sustainable impact for rural communities and helping to address issues such as de-population in small rural town, villages and rural areas.
Initial funding of €315 million will be allocated to the Fund over the period 2019 to 2022 on a phased basis.
The closing date for applications under the first call for the Fund was 27th September. I understand there is strong interest in the Fund from across the country with over 250 applications received. The completeness and eligibility of all applications received is still being verified by my Department. I shortly expect to be in a position to share information on the number of complete applications received, applications by category and their locations.
My Department has established a Project Advisory Board which will oversee during October/ November the assessment of applications for the Fund. The Board is Chaired by my Department and made up of representatives from key Government Departments, along with a number of independent external experts.
Following this recommendation I hope to make announcements on the first set of successful applications under the Fund in November.