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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has welcomed confirmation that the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued a second call for Category 1 ‘Ready-to-Go’ project proposals under the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF). The RRDF supports rural renewal projects in areas with populations under 10,000.

Speaking after the call for proposals was announced, Minister Stanton said: “The RRDF aims 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. Last July when the RRDF was launched, €86 million was allocated for both Category 1 and Category 2 proposals.

“This funding round is for Category 1 or ‘Ready-to-Go’ proposals, or initial phases of projects which can be commenced this year. These are projects which have the necessary consents, such as planning permission in place, are at an advanced stage of design and are procurement ready. It is expected that a call for Category 2 proposals will issue later this year”, said Minister Stanton.

Category 1 projects must deliver sustainable economic and social development and 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.

Key policy priorities for this call include project proposals which focus on potential community challenges posed by Brexit and those that assist in the transition to a competitive, low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy. Funding is available for projects which address infrastructural deficiencies and building vacancy; improve public amenities; support job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation and develop tourism.

Minister Stanton concluded: “Generally the RRDF provides 75% of the total project value, with 25% to be provided by the applicants. A minimum of 10% of this must be in cash. The minimum application limit is €500,000. The deadline for submission of proposals is 12pm, Tuesday, 6 August, so I would encourage interested groups to log on to the Department of Rural and Community Development website at for further information.”