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.
The second call for Category 1 applications for the Fund closed at on 6th August 2019. Category 1 relates to projects which have all necessary planning and other consents in place and are ready to proceed.
There was an excellent response from across the country and my Department received 69 applications for funding. I understand that an application relating to Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim was submitted under the second call.
My Department is currently carrying out initial assessments of the applications using the appraisal criteria set out in the Fund guidance and application form. The projects proposed and the initial assessments will shortly be considered by the Project Advisory Board, made up of representatives from key Government Departments and external experts, which was established to oversee the assessment process.
My Department will prepare a report detailing projects which are recommended for funding based on the outcome of the assessment process and the deliberations of the Project Advisory Board. My role as Minister is to consider the recommendations that emerge from that process and make decisions in relation to the allocation of funding. In that regard, I expect to be in a position to announce the successful Category 1 projects from the second call before the end of 2019.