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Rural and Community Development | Urban and rural community infrastructure funds and investment programmes

To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which she continues to fund infrastructure throughout the country in such a way as to encourage the retention of jobs and the attraction of investors in jobs throughout the regions; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


My Department’s mission is to support vibrant and sustainable communities, and in doing so, to deliver on a wide range of strategic interventions, funding programmes and policies to support the development of urban and rural communities throughout the country.

The Programme for Government places a strong emphasis on balanced regional development.  My own Department supports this commitment through targeted investment that supports rural regeneration, infrastructure development, facilitates new working opportunities, and fosters regional enterprise growth through programmes such as the following:

– The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund provides funding for the development and construction of capital projects in towns and villages and rural areas across Ireland. To date, 191 projects have been approved for funding of €279 million for projects costing €379 million.

– Connected Hubs funding supports the development of remote working facilities as part of the National Connected Hubs Network.

– The €70 million transitional LEADER Programme that came into effect in April 2021 provides targeted support for rural development, including direct enterprise support.

– The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure such as walking trails, cycleways and blueways.

– The Local Improvement Scheme contributes to the upkeep of private roads in rural areas.

– The new Community Centre Investment Fund will support community centres in both rural and urban settings.

– The CLÁR programme is a targeted investment programme which provides funding for small-scale infrastructural projects in some of our most remote rural areas.

All of these investment measures, provided as part of “Our Rural Future”, are contributing to the development of our regions.

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