Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has announced additional funding of almost €3.5 million for 12 projects supported by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).

The projects include the rejuvenation of town centres and public realms, as well as the development of a number of enterprise and digital hubs to facilitate remote working.

The fund is “designed to combat dereliction, increase the vibrancy of town centres and regenerate old buildings so that they have a new purpose”.

The 12 projects were among 25 projects approved for funding under RRDF in April of this year.

Following a full cost review of the projects involved, the additional funding is being made available to ensure they are delivered to the “highest possible standard” in order to benefit the local communities in the areas concerned.

Today’s (Tuesday, October 19) announcement brings the overall funding for the 25 landmark projects announced in April to over €84 million.

‘Real and lasting impact’

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“The fund is delivering projects that will have a real and lasting impact on rural Ireland for decades to come.

“The 25 projects I announced in April are landmark projects that will breathe new life into towns and villages.

“The additional funding of €3.5 million reflects the fact that it is a challenging time in construction and that further financial investment from government is required to ensure these projects can be delivered in full.

“The cost review undertaken in relation to the projects was also important to ensure that no delays would be encountered in their delivery and that appropriate funding is in place to cover contingencies in the current volatile cost environment.

“I will be closely following the progress made on these projects and look forward to their full and timely completion.”

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Earlier this month, it was announced that through the National Development Plan, there will be a capital funding allocation of €962 million to support rural and community development projects until 2025, an increase of 21%.

This included over €480 million for rural regeneration and development schemes such as the RRDF and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

“The funding and delivery of large-scale projects is essential to revitalising our rural towns and villages and attracting people back to rural areas to live and work,” Minister Humphreys continued.

“The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund alone has, to date, invested over €255 million in 164 projects worth a total of €347 million.

“I expect to be in a position to announce successful Category 2 applications under the fund to assist further project development work around the country in the weeks ahead, and to announce the fourth call for Category 1 applications before the end of the year.”