The first call for applications for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund closed at the end of September. €1 billion is committed to the Fund over a 10 year period to support rural economic development and help build strong communities. €315 million is allocated to the Fund for 2019-2022.
There was an excellent response from all across the country, with 280 applications received. 126 applications related to Category 1, "shovel ready" projects while 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, providing €24.4 million in funding for projects with an overall value of €34.6 million. The final announcement on the first call under the Fund took place in February 2019 in Castleblayney where I announced another 20 successful Category 1 projects and 46 Category 2 projects which will benefit from support from the Fund of €62 million, with a total project value of €83 million. Overall, this first call from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will provide €86 million in support for projects worth €117 million.
My Department is in ongoing contact with the lead parties for the aforementioned 84 successful projects in respect of the contractual arrangements governing the delivery of the projects, which set out project milestones and schedules, as well as associated payment dates. I look forward in the coming months to the funds being drawn down in line with completion of project milestones.
A further call for applications to the Fund will be announced in the coming weeks.