Mr Seán Canney TD, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development , has welcomed the announcement that €23 million has been allocated from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to projects in the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) region. The AEC covers Counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, and Kerry.
Speaking today, Minister Canney said:
“The funding announced for these projects is in addition to previous announcements of over €48 million from the Rural Regeneration Fund for projects in the AEC region.”
Other projects are being funded in counties Clare, Roscommon, Leitrim, Donegal, and Mayo.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) is a key initiative of Project Ireland 2040. The Fund is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, and will provide €1 billion in investment over 10 years to support the renewal of towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000, and outlying areas.
The objective of the Fund is to support coordinated and integrated projects between Government Departments, State agencies, Local Authorities, other public bodies, communities and, where appropriate, philanthropic funders and/or the private sector, which will have an impact on sustainable economic and social development in rural areas.
26 projects were approved for funding of €62 million by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, in the latest allocation from the Fund on 6 November 2019.
Atlantic Economic Corridor
The Atlantic Economic Corridor is a collaborative initiative driven by the AEC Taskforce which was founded in March 2017, and chaired by Minister Canney. The Taskforce comprises representatives from key Government Departments, public bodies, the business sector, local and regional government bodies and Third Level Institutions.
A core goal of the AEC initiative is to act as an enabler for the regional growth objectives of the National Planning Framework by combining the assets of the Atlantic seaboard region, from Donegal to Kerry, to attract investment, support job creation and improve the quality of life for the people of the region.
The local authorities involved in the AEC are:
The AEC initiative is overseen by the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce - a multi-stakeholder body with representatives from national, regional and local government, state agencies, higher education bodies, private industry and the community sector and is committed to developing an innovative and integrated strategy to promote the development of the region. www.atlanticeconomiccorridor.ie.
Projects in the AEC region which have been approved for funding from the latest allocation from the RRDF are listed below:
|Project Title||County||Description||RRDF Funding|
|Multifunctional Performance Auditorium at Cnoc na Gaoithe Cultural Centre, Tulla||Clare||This regeneration project will restore a derelict site and building in the centre of Tulla and develop a multi-functional performance space and auditorium that will further enhance and support the town’s rich music and cultural heritage.||€900,000.00|
|Killybegs 2040 - Town Centre Regeneration Project||Donegal||This is a town centre regeneration project involving the redevelopment of an existing building in the harbour area to house a Tourism Information Centre and Digital Hub along with associated civic space, which will help enhance the physical, social and economic capacity of Killybegs.||€3,631,758.00|
|Ailt an Chorráin (Burtonport)/ Oileán Árainn Mhór (Arranmore Island) - Harbour to Island Regeneration||Donegal||This project will deliver improved infrastructure at the harbour in Burtonport and provide shorefront amenity infrastructure on Arranmore. This will assist in enhancing the relationship between the island and the mainland and provide opportunities for growth in the tourism and marine leisure sectors.||€3,089,199.00|
|Regeneration Loughrea, Breaking Through||Galway||This project will regenerate Loughrea Town Hall, a derelict heritage building in the centre of the town, to provide a cultural, enterprise and tourism hub. This project will help drive growth in Loughrea and place a historic asset back into everyday use in the town centre.||€1,628,879.00|
|Listowel Food Hub||Kerry||This project will deliver a Food Hub in Listowel with 5 state-of-the-art food production units and a research and development suite. The project will strengthen and build sustainable food production in the region and drive entrepreneurship and enterprise development.||€1,365,226.00|
|The Junction, Ballinamore - Regeneration of Ballinamore||Leitrim||The project will regenerate and restore two listed buildings and a derelict site in the centre of Ballinamore to provide a digital hub and co-working space, an artistic space for promotion of local arts and crafts and a youth facility. The project will preserve and capitalise on local heritage assets and address the need for more social activities and facilities for people in the area.||€1,728,075.00|
|Manorhamilton Public Realm improvement works including re-imagining employment and Enterprise Lands||Leitrim||This project will deliver a suite of transformative regeneration measures in the town centre of Manorhamilton, with the objectives of enhancing the quality of the existing streetscapes in the historic town centre and strengthening the town’s physical and commercial infrastructure, making it a more attractive place to work, live and do business.||€1,613,250.00|
|Áras Scéalta an Atlantaigh - Visitor Centre and Tourism Hub||Mayo||This project will develop a major tourism hub in Eachléim on the Erris Peninsula in the North Mayo Gaeltacht with a view to generating economic and tourism development in the area. The Hub will act as an orientation point for visitors to learn about the cultural and natural heritage attractions in the area, including Blacksod Lighthouse, and provide tourism incubation space and support the development of craft enterprises.||€1,879,350.00|
|Ballintubber Abbey Culture and Heritage Visitor Centre||Mayo||This project will restore and reconstruct the east wing of Ballintubber Abbey to house a cultural and heritage centre telling the story of the Abbey and Monastic Ireland generally. The project will deliver a flagship cultural and heritage visitor attraction, which showcases Tóchar Phádraig, one of the ancient pilgrim routes being developed as part of the Irish Camino proposal.||€2,677,352.00|
|Clew Bay Greenway Project||Mayo||This project will deliver a 5km extension of the Great Western Greenway between Belclare and Murrisk, Co. Mayo and other infrastructure along the full extent of the Clew Bay route and will provide safe routes from the greenway to nearby points of interest. This will help increase visitor numbers to the area and enhance the experience of visitors and the communities along the route.||€1,924,800.00|
|Life Sciences Innovation Hub and Soft Landing Space||Roscommon||This project will refurbish and repurpose a disused building into a thematic Hub providing co-working spaces, training facilities and a soft landing space for start-up companies in the area. The project seeks to build on the existing life sciences presence in the area and will drive further activity in the sector and the midlands generally.||€2,751,544.16|