The proposals are being invited under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund as part of Project Ireland 2040. The fund will provide €1bn in investment over 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas. Initial funding of €315mis being allocated on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022. Under the first call, €86m in funding for projects throughout the country was announced.
Minister for rural and community development Michael Ring announced the the opening of the second call for the fund. He said: “The fund will support significant and strategic investment in capital projects which will strengthen rural economies and communities across this country. Promoting collaboration at a local level, the fund will continue to transform local communities, building their resilience and contribute to the objectives of Project Ireland 2040.”
This second call for proposals will focus on capital regeneration projects that are ready to start. Through a competitive process, the Fund will support collaborative projects in rural settlements of less than 10,000, with funding available of at least €500,000.
The types of initiatives which the fund will support in the second call include:
- measures to address infrastructural deficiencies that are instrumental to and part of town and village regeneration;
- measures to address building vacancy in order to encourage town centre regeneration, including building refurbishment, redevelopment and/or demolition;
- improving public amenity and public realm in towns and villages and the development of recreational facilities;
- projects which deliver on multiple objectives, for example, delivering a town centre regeneration project which also contributes to economic, tourism, community or cultural development;
- projects which take an integrated approach to developing employment opportunities within a town or its environs;
- projects that support job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation;
- development or expansion of tourism initiatives which generate new areas of economic activity and attract increased visitor numbers to rural areas.
The fund will be open to local authorities, local development companies, state agencies, other government departments, philanthropic funders, the private sector and communities. The lead partner must be a state-funded body. The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 12 noon on Tuesday 6th August 201. It is anticipated that successful projects will be announced in October 2019.