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Fitzpatrick calls for local groups to apply for funding under new €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Fitzpatrick calls for local groups to apply for funding under new €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Local TD Peter Fitzpatrick has called on the county council and other community organisations in Co Louth to make submissions for funding as part of a new €1 billion fund which has been launched by Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring for rural regeneration and development.

The new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will invest €1 billion of Exchequer funding over the next 10 years.

Deputy Fitzpatrick said the fund “provides an unprecedented opportunity for us to make a significant impact which will transform rural Ireland for the better.”

He said: “It is essential that Louth County Council and community organisations here in Louth make submissions for funding. This will be a competitive process open to public bodies and locally based organisations.”

The type of projects it will support will include:

  • addressing infrastructural deficits in towns and villages,
  • encouraging enterprise, and
  • enhancing heritage and community assets in rural areas.

The Fund will target towns with a population of less than 10,000 people, as well as villages and outlying rural areas.

Deputy Fitzpatrick continued: “In general, the Fund will provide up to 75% of the total value of a project.  A maximum of 80% of funding will be considered where community contributions form a significant element of the match-funding.”

Detailed criteria are now being developed for the first call for proposals which will be announced in the coming weeks. The Fund will encourage collaborative approaches between Departments, agencies, Local Authorities and other public bodies, and the private sector, where appropriate, to pool their assets and work with communities to transform our rural towns and villages and their outlying areas.  Proposals will be expected to be consistent with the National Planning Framework objectives and provide a strategic integrated approach which is consistent with regional and local plans for the area.

Projects must demonstrate a capacity to add value to other public investments. There will be a requirement for a co-funding contribution from other public or private sources – expected to be of the order of 25%.  The first phase will also allow for technical supports for preparatory groundwork for future phase investments, through Local Authorities and other locally based organisations.

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