Home » Breaking News » €9m+ for projects in rural Clare with more to come
Minister Heather Humphreys and Brid Mc Namara, chairperson of Cnoc na Gaoithe listening to local musicians Andrew Mc Namara, Kevin Carey and Gearoid Mc Namara, on arrival to Cnoc na Gaoithe in Tulla, as part of the #OurRuralFuture roadshow. Photograph by John Kelly

€9m+ for projects in rural Clare with more to come

OVER €9 million came to Clare from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) in 2018 and 2019, according to figures provided at last week’s meeting of the Ennistymon and Kilrush Municipal Districts.
The projects and amounts to receive funding were: Ennistymon Innovation Centre, €1,023,300; Lahinch Seaworld, €2,908,750; Vandeleur Estate in Kilrush, €1,975,819; Loop Head Visitor Attraction, €868,500; Inis Cealtra in Lough Derg, €920,500; Doolin Pier, €465,571; and Cnoc na Gaoithe in Tulla, €900,000.
A report accompanying the figures stated, “The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) is a major programme of investment established under the National Development Plan which seeks to support large-scale, ambitious projects which can achieve sustainable economic and social development in rural areas.
“The Fund is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) with targeted investment in rural Ireland over the period 2019 to 2027. 
“The purpose of the fund is to support job creation in rural areas, address depopulation of rural communities and support improvements in our towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000, and outlying areas.
“Initial funding of €315 million has been allocated to the fund on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022.”
Regarding the securing of future funding, it said, “It is important as a Local Authority that we identify the best projects from across that county that exemplify town and village regeneration, the repurposing of derelict, disused or heritage buildings, the delivery of remote working and enterprise spaces, tourism infrastructure and generally support greater activity, footfall, business and residency in rural town and villages and their hinterlands.”
It said that the west of the county has done particularly well from the scheme so far.
“At present, two RRDF Category Two projects are submitted and awaiting a decision from the
West Clare MD: Loop Head Lighthouse and Kilrush Maritime Centre.
“An East Clare MD digital and street regeneration project in Scariff is also awaiting an RRDF Category Two decision. Projects for the next round of RRDF have not yet been agreed by the management team.
“It is important to bear in mind that five of the seven projects approved under RRDF to date have been drawn from the West Clare MD. So, in fairness it is expected that projects from other MD’s will feature strongly in the next round of RRDF submissions if the projects are shovel-ready.
“It is also vital to understand that shovel-ready is used as a terms to refer to having projects at a stage of pre-feasibility report for RRDF Category Two or post- feasibility report with Planning Permission for Category One. Feedback nationally on projects is that economic impact is a key factor that needs to be demonstrated and documented in project applications.”

by Owen Ryan

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