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The Department of Rural and Community Development has issued a third call for Category 1 ‘Ready-to-Go’ project proposals under the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), according to Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, David Stanton.

The RRDF supports the regeneration and development of rural town, villages and outlying areas with populations of under 10,000 through investment in coordinated and integrated community projects. Initial funding of €315 million is to be allocated on a phased basis over the period 2019-2022 with over 100 projects funded since the conclusion of the first call in late 2018.

Speaking after the third call for proposals was made, David Stanton said: “This call for RRDF Category 1 applications will provide a further boost to local town and village economies as they begin to reopen after Covid-19 closures. Category 1 projects are those which already have planning permission in place and are ready to commence at the date of application.  The fund aims to assist these large-scale capital projects in delivering sustainable regeneration and increased economic activity in rural areas while also helping to address challenges such as dereliction and vacancy.

“Such investment is vital in supporting communities to emerge from recent restrictions. Given the challenges posed, the Department is seeking proposals for projects that will deliver sustainable economic development while also ensuring the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. Category 1 project proposals must involve a partnership between Government Departments, State or public agencies, local authorities and communities and, can also include philanthropic funders and/or the private sector.  The lead partner must be a state-funded body and the minimum application limit is €500,000.

“In light of recent events, the Department has this year increased its funding contribution to a maximum of 90% of the total project cost with at least 10% to be provided in matching contributions by the applicants, a minimum of 20% of which must be in cash. The deadline for submission of proposals is 12pm, Tuesday, 1 December and I would urge those seeking further information on the RRDF process to consult the Department of Rural and Community Development website at It is expected that a funding announcement for Category 2 project applications will be made in the near future”, said David Stanton.

The Department of Rural and Community Development has also confirmed that total grant funding of €72,536 will be allocated between community groups in Cork County under this year’s Community Enhancement Programme (CEP). The CEP supports local community groups, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, by providing small-scale funding for facilities enhancements or the purchase of equipment. Interested applicants to the CEP are advised to contact their Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) with the deadline for applications expected before 30 September 2020.