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.
Following the conclusion of the first call under the Fund in February 2019, a total of 84 successful projects had been announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund to support projects worth a total of €117m.
Of the 84 successful projects, five projects are located in Co Donegal. Total funding of €4.2 million was approved for the five projects.
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 in Donegal and elsewhere. While, as of the present date, none of the five Donegal projects has yet reached their first milestone and been in a position to draw down funding, a number of other projects have done so and to date a total of €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund. 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.
I announced the second call for Category 1 applications - those with full planning and consents in place - in April 2019, with a closing date for applications at noon on Tuesday, 6th August 2019. Category 2 applications, relating to projects which need further development to be ready for Category 1 status, will be sought later in the year.