Galway has been granted €2.25 million for two projects supporting rural communities in Connemara.
The community projects in Renvyle and Spiddal are two of the first successful applicants for a share in the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund announced today.
The development of an Enterprise Hub in An Spidéal supporting enterprise and job creation in the Creative and Digital Media sectors by Údarás na Gaeltachta has received a grant of €548,887.
While the bulk of the funding announced today, €1,728,000 will go towards building a Residential Education Centre in Tullycross, Renvyle, governed by the Western Development Commission.
The Residential Centre will have the capacity to cater for 40 students and teachers, aiming to capitalise on the rural strengths of the landscape heritage and culture.
Phase 1 of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund was announced today at a special event in Sligo by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, and Minister of State Sean Canney.
Over the next decade one billion in funding will be spent on projects that will help to regenerate areas with a population of under 10,000.
More than 290 projects applied for this first stage, with the focus in this round on heritage and tourism, infrastructural improvement, and economic development.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar encouraged people with an idea to that could promote jobs or other development in their community to step forward and apply for funding to push it forward.
“These Funds are competitive and open to a wide variety of partners, so if you have an idea to improve your area, develop new technologies, encourage climate action, you have the opportunity to make a real difference.”
He said that the fund would help towns and villages to grow sustainably, “It’s all about making Rural Ireland a more attractive place to stay, move into or run a business.”
Minister Ring added that the government expects the population to grow by one million people by 2040, with half of that in rural areas like Connemara.
“Rural Ireland is integral to the future development of our country and this Fund will facilitate growth and prosperity and will strengthen rural communities,” he said.