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. My Department has allocated €52m in funding in 2019 for projects supported by the Fund
The first call under the Fund closed in September 2018. 280 applications were received – 126 Category 1 applications (projects which had the relevant planning and consents in place and could commence capital works in 2019) and 154 Category 2 applications (projects which had potential but needed further development to enable them to be potentially submitted as Category 1 proposals in the future).
In November 2018 and February 2019 I announced details of a total of 38 Category 1 projects and 46 Category 2 projects 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 84 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.
In this regard, significant progress is already being made on the implementation of successful projects. A number of the projects have already reached their first milestone and had funding released. To date, €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund by seven separate projects, 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.
It should be noted that the second call for applications to the Rural Regeneration and Development is now open. Details of the second call are set out in the information booklet and application form relating to the Fund, which are available on the www.gov.ie website. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday, 6 August 2019.