I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 46 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 ten years to the fund and €315 million is allocated to the fund for the period 2019-2022.
The first call for applications for the fund closed at the end of September. There were 280 applications submitted to the first call. Some 126 applications related to category 1, shovel ready projects, and 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 received €24.4 million in funding and have an overall value of €34.6 million. In February, I announced another 20 successful category 1 projects and 46 category 2 projects. These 66 projects will received €62 million in funding and have a total project value of €83 million. Overall, the first call from the rural regeneration and development fund will provide €86 million in support for projects worth €117 million.
In order to ensure the prompt delivery of these important large scale 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 as expected 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, 6 August. A further call for category 2 applications will follow in October. Information on requirements of the second call are on the gov.ie website and information sessions to assist potential applicants will be held by my Department.