Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Questions (58, 61)

Éamon Ó Cuív


58. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the spend to date in 2019 under the rural regeneration fund; the expenditure expected by year end; the value of the grant approvals to date under the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22845/19]

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Catherine Connolly


61. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the position regarding the first allocation under the rural regeneration and development fund; the project review mechanisms in place; when the second call for funding under the fund will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22881/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 61 together.

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.  My Department has allocated €52 million from the Fund to support the RRDF projects in 2019.

The first call for applications for the Fund closed at the end of September.  There were 280 applications submitted to the first call.  126 applications related to Category 1, "shovel ready" projects.  154 related to Category 2 projects, those which needed development funding to become potential Category 1 applications in future calls for applications.

In November 2018, I announced the first set of 18 successful Category 1 projects.  These 18 projects will receive €24.4m in funding and have an overall value of €34.6m.  In February 2019, I announced another 20 successful Category 1 projects and 46 Category 2 projects.  These 66 projects will receive €62m in funding and have a total project value of €83m.  Overall, the first call from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will provide €86m in support for projects worth €117m.  

To ensure the prompt delivery of projects, my Department has drawn up contractual obligations for successful applicants with funding based on the achievement of key milestones in the projects.  In that regard, while there has been no drawdown from the Fund to date though I am pleased that a number of the projects are approaching the completion of their first key milestone.  

I launched the second call for applications to the Fund in April 2019.  This current call is open to Category 1, shovel-ready, applications only and the closing date is 12 noon on Tuesday, 6th August 2019.  A further call for Category 2 applications will follow in October. Information on the requirements of the second call are on the website and information sessions to assist potential applicants will be held by my Department.