The fund, which is part of Project Ireland 2040, will provide €1bn in investment over 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas through transformative major projects. Initial funding of €315 million is being allocated on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022.
Minister for rural and community development Michael Ring said: “The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund represents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver the scale of investment necessary to allow rural communities to continue to thrive and to help achieve balanced regional growth. It is already making its presence felt in rural Ireland.
“With a 10-year fund it is important that we provide the right support to assist a vision to be developed to the point that it is shovel-ready. There can be significant work involved in getting a project to this point.
“This Category 2 funding can be used for a variety of purposes including for example, the development of a detailed project design, preparation for the planning process and, if necessary, the purchase of relevant properties or lands.
“I look forward to seeing the exciting proposals which come through this process.”
The fund is 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 but collaboration between parties, including with communities, is strongly encouraged.
The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 12pm on Friday 28th February 2020. Applications should be submitted electronically on the official application form, which is available on the website of the Department of Rural & Community Development.