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The Government’s new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is now open for applications says Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton.

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund supports collaborative projects between Government departments, State agencies, local authorities, other public bodies, communities and, where appropriate, philanthropic or private funders. The lead partner must be a State-funded body.

Minister Stanton said: “The new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will have a total investment of €1 billion of government funding over the next 10 years. Its overarching aim is to improve economic and social sustainability in rural areas by addressing infrastructural deficits in towns and villages, encouraging enterprise, and enhancing heritage and community assets.

“The fund will target towns with a population of less than 10,000 people, as well as villages and outlying rural areas. In general, it will provide a maximum of 75% of the total project cost but a maximum of 80% of funding will be considered where community contributions form a significant element of the match-funding,” said Minister Stanton.

“I would encourage anyone interested to log on to the Department of Rural and Community Development website The website contains full details of the fund along with an application form which can be downloaded. The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 27 September 2018 and it is anticipated that successful projects will be announced in late October/early November.

“The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund represents an unprecedented opportunity to make a significant and sustainable positive impact on rural communities. It is a key instrument in supporting the objectives of Project Ireland 2040 in rejuvenating smaller towns and villages by helping to diversify enterprise and employment and improving connectivity.