€62 million in funding will be allocated to 66 projects across the country under the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), which is a key part of Project Ireland 2040. Both Galway and Mayo benefit greatly from this funding.
The funding is broken into two categories. Category 1 in the RRDF includes applications which were presented as shovel-ready or initial stages of projects which should begin in 2019. The minimum funding for this category is €500,000 and there is no upper limit. Category 2 relates to projects that need funding for further development before being ‘ready to go’ but possessed clear potential and quantifiable objectives, which would enable them to be potentially submitted as Category 1 proposals in subsequent funding calls.
RRDF Category 1 projects for Galway and Mayo include:
- Funding of €644,734 was announced for DigiWest in Swinford Co.Mayo. DigiWest is a regional economic development project that has been developed in conjunction with the local authorities, and will establish a Rural Digital Working Hub.
- The allocation of €3,554,000 for Athenry/Bia Innovator will be significant for the regeneration of Athenry and will complete the existing Bia Innovator Campus, and will develop the town into a major food and tourism centre. There will also be works to develop Athenry as a local retail destination, including public realm improvements, which will positively impact shopfronts and the Athenry Town Park.
- €825,000 was announced the strategic regeneration of Ballinrobe through the development of the Market House, upgrade of the library and surrounding grounds, and upgrade of the Bowers Walk area.
- €3,915,000 was announced for nation parks nationwide, including those in Galway and Mayo, which will provide a major upgrade of National Parks and Reserves in a number of locations. It will support the implementation of the Tourism Interpretative Master Plan for Ireland’s National Parks and Nature Reserves.
Category 2 projects for Galway and Mayo include:
- €1,057,500 for Ireland’s National Parks, including those in Galway and Mayo which will deliver a social and economic benefit through employment and revenue generation to a large number of rural towns and villages around the country.
- €525,000 for regeneration in Dunmore, Galway which will be used to develop the detailed design for the removal of derelict properties from Dunmore, the creation of an improved aesthetic for Bridge Street and enhance the remaining buildings in terms of accessibility and visibility.
- The Tuam Regeneration Strategy was awarded €175,000 for the development of a comprehensive Tuam Regeneration Strategy.
- Funding of €124, 781 was allocated for the Kinvara Boardwalk to develop detailed designs and bring to planning stage a boardwalk and walkway and provide safe pedestrian access from the village to this national heritage site and onto the tendered upgrade works on the N67.
- Funding of €75,000 was announced for cycle networks in multiple locations including for the progression and development of plans for a cycle network in County Mayo which extends from Leenaun in County Galway to the Sligo county boundary.
- €56,000 for tourism experiences in Mayo was allocated to develop a plan for a number of standalone tourism experiences between Mayo’s principal existing tourism destinations.
- Both Galway and Mayo will benefit from funding of €969,387 in funding to develop a Geopark in the Joyce Country and Western Lakes area of Galway and Mayo and prepare an application for full UNESCO Global Geopark status for the area.