Project Ireland 2040 – Regeneration and Development Funds Launched

Under Project Ireland 2040, the Government have recently launched two Regeneration & Development Funds; one for urban locations and the other with a rural focus. While broadly similar, and largely concurrent, each fund is being administered by a different Government Department, and they are different in terms of the types of projects than will be considered and the quantum of funding that is available.

The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is being administered by the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government; with an allocation of €2 billion to 2027, primarily to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities and other large urban centres. Of the overall allocation of €2 billion, €100 million is allocated for 2019 expenditure, and a further €450 million for expenditure between 2020 and 2022.

It is stated that the fund “is designed to leverage a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services, and amenities, within the existing built “footprint” of our larger urban areas”. Funding application can only be submitted by public bodies, but private and /or community bodies may partner with a public body for an application. It will be a competitive, bid based programme, operating on a multi-annual basis. The high-level qualification requirements for applications are:

  • Applications must be matched by at least 25% direct funding from other sources
  • Project value must be at least €2 million for large towns; at least €10 million in the five metropolitan areas.
  • Project must be a catalyst for development that would not otherwise occur.
  • Project must be likely to leverage significant (at least equal to project value) further private sector investment (i.e. development).

There will be two funding streams under this process:

  • Category A - “Ready-to-go” proposals may be submitted  for project funding  for drawdown in 2019, if they have consents in place, and are procurement-ready.
  • Category B – Less well developed proposals may be submitted for Category B funding for technical assistance to develop the project proposals further, with a view to a subsequent Category A application. The intention is that the Category B funding stream creates a pipeline of well developed, ready-to-go projects for future Category A funding.

The closing date for URDF applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 28th September 2018. Full details of the scheme, including application forms and a list of eligible towns, can be found at www.gov.ie/2040 or www.npf.ie.

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), run by the Department of Rural and Community Development, shares many of the characteristics of the URDF outlines above, but is broader in range; it’s aim is to support sustainable economic and social development in rural areas.

The funding available is €1 billion to 2027, of which €315 million is allocated for expenditure in the period 2019 to 2022. 

The range of parties who can submit an application is wider than for the URDF; the fund is open to Local Authorities, Local Development Companies, State Agencies, other Government Departments, philanthropic funders, the private sector, and communities; subject to demonstrating a collaborative approach between two or more organisations.  It also will be a competitive, bid based programme, operating on a multi-annual basis. The high-level qualification requirements for applications are:

  • Applications must be matched by at least 25% direct funding from other sources, although in some cases less than 25% will be acceptable.
  • Project value must be at least €500,000.
  • Funding will be provided only for projects that would not otherwise occur, without the additionality provided by the fund
  • Projects must be outside the scope of other funding schemes
  • Projects must have a sustainable impact on the social and economic development of rural communities through measurable outputs.

There will also be two funding streams under this process:

  • Category 1 - “Ready-to-go” projects may be submitted  for project funding  for drawdown in 2019, if they have consents in place, and are procurement-ready.
  • Category 2 – Less well developed proposals may be submitted for Category 2 funding for technical assistance to develop the project proposals further, with a view to a subsequent Category 1 application.

The closing date for RRDF applications is 12:00 noon on Thursday 27th September 2018. Full details of the scheme, including application forms, can be found at https://drcd.gov.ie/about/rural/rural-regeneration-development-fund/.

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