A key component of Project Ireland 2040, the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund sets out to support the rejuvenation of communities, job creation and transform rural economies.
Commenting on the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund funding announcement, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, expressed his disappointment at the lack of successful Cork County Council applications.
“Cork County Council submitted 48 high quality measured applications, significantly more than any other organisation, €37 million in total in projects. Yesterday’s announcement related to projects valued at €62 million. We were successful with 1 single application, valued at €276,000.
While I acknowledge Kinsale Library received over €2 million at the first round announcement last year, this round is hugely disproportionate, particularly when you realise that as a Local Authority, Cork County Council covers a population that is almost 10% of the entire country.
The Government’s National Planning Framework, Ireland 2040, has set Cork out as Ireland’s fastest growing region. We, as a Local Authority, are in a midst of a considerable transition period where we will see the transfer of a large proportion of the Cork metropolitan area, and the rates income that this generates, to another Local Authority.
Cork is a county of huge potential and enormous diversity. A look at the applications made through this fund highlight this, from the developing of beaches and harbours, to arts and cultural centres, to relief roads; we are a county of endless possibilities. But we need support, now more than ever, to fully deliver for our people.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is a 10 year fund valued at €1 billion. I have every intention of ensuring that our quality projects will be revisited during the lifetime of this initiative. I urge Government to prioritise Cork in further funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, and other funding programmes, so as to ensure Cork can survive, and thrive, during this period of serious change and realise its potential as envisaged under the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.”