Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has reminded local community groups that they have just over two months to seek support from the Government’s new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Deputy Carey, who is chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Affairs, is anxious that proposals from Clare communities and local authorities are submitted in time.
“The fund, which will involve allocating €1 billion over the next ten years, provides an unprecedented opportunity to transform our rural communities for the better.
“The overarching aim of the new funding is to have an impact on sustainable economic and social development in rural areas.”
The fund is aimed at towns with populations less than 10,000, as well as villages and outlying rural areas. Applications are invited from local authorities, local development companies, state agencies, philanthropic funders, the private sector and communities.
However, the lead partner must be a State-funded body. Deputy Carey said, “It is essential that community organisations and Clare County Council make submissions for funding as this is a competitive process open to public bodies and locally based organisations.
“The type of projects to be supported will include those addressing infrastructural deficits in towns and villages, encouraging enterprise, as well as enhancing heritage and community assets in rural areas.
“In general, the fund will provide up to 75% of the total value of any given project. A maximum of 80% funding will be considered where community contributions form a significant element of the match-funding,” Deputy Carey explained.
Closing date for proposals is September 27th. It is expected that successful projects will be announced by November. Full details of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, along with the application form, are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website, at www.drcd.gov.ie.