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.
In November 2018 and February 2019 I announced details of a total of 38 Category 1 projects (capital projects which were fully planning and consent ready) and 46 Category 2 projects (those needing further development to make them ready for delivery) which were successful under the first call from the Fund, providing €86m in support for projects worth a total of €117m.
Following the announcement of the successful projects, my Department engaged with each lead party to complete due diligence requirements. Contractual arrangements were also drawn up with the release of funding based on the achievement of key milestones in the projects.
I am satisfied that significant progress is already being made on the implementation of successful projects. A number of the projects have already met their first milestone and had funding released. To date, €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund by seven separate projects. This is made up of €1,654,161 drawn down for five Category 1 projects to date and €67,882 for two Category 2 projects.
I expect that payments from the Fund will significantly accelerate over the coming weeks and months as further milestones are achieved across all the 84 projects.