The Action Plan for Rural Development was published in January 2017 as a whole-of-Government initiative to support the economic and social progress of rural Ireland. Progress Reports on the implementation of the Plan are published twice yearly on the Gov.ie website. The latest Progress Report, published on 1 July, shows that measures being progressed through the Action Plan continue to deliver positive outcomes for rural Ireland.
Measures in the Plan are delivered across a range of Government Departments and agencies. Each Government Department is best placed to identify the level of spending on a county-by-county basis in respect of its own particular policy remit. My Department supports rural Ireland through the delivery of programmes such as LEADER, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, CLÁR, the Local Improvement Scheme, and community based schemes such as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).
In 2018, over €7 million was provided by my Department for projects in Co. Donegal. This included, amongst other funding, €1.6 million under LEADER, €1.3 million under the Local Improvement Scheme, and €1.5 million under SICAP.
The progress made under the Action Plan for Rural Development has been further built on through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which will provide €1 billion in investment in rural Ireland over the period 2019-2027. To date, €86 million has been allocated from the Fund to 84 projects. These are ambitious, collaborative projects which will have a transformational effect on towns, villages and rural areas across Ireland.
Under the first call for applications announced in late 2018, a total of 12 projects were specifically approved for funding in County Donegal. I announced a further call for proposals last April, with a deadline for applications of 6 August.