Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State Joe O’Brien TD, welcomed the publication of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the strong Government commitment to rural and community development.
The NDP will provide the Department of Rural and Community Development with capital investment of €962 million over the period 2021-2025.
Over the 5 year period to 2025, it is expected that the capital funding provided for in the NDP will allow:
Minister Humphreys said “The National Development Plan will provide the necessary funding to put Our Rural Future into action. Our Rural Future is the Government’s most ambitious rural development policy in decades. With the support of the funding announced today, over 960 million euro will be provided for rural and community projects over the next five years."
"This funding will deliver on the ambition and vision of Our Rural Future. It will allow us to do things like invest in rural regeneration projects, revitalise our town centres, capitalise on remote working opportunities and repurpose old buildings into 21st century use. It will allow us to invest heavily in our outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, lakes and forests. It will also mean that we can continue to invest in our island communities, our LEADER Programme and our PEACE Programme."
"I am determined as Minister to revitalise and re-imagine rural Ireland – making it a better place to live, work and raise a family. I strongly welcome today’s National Development Plan, which will turn the vision of Our Rural Future into a reality for families and communities in rural Ireland”.
Minister of State O’Brien, who has responsibility for Community Development and Charities, added “I am particularly pleased to see the significant capital funding increase for community development, amounting to 25% above previous levels." "This will ensure continued support for capital investment in community infrastructure, and that we can deliver on a Programme for Government commitment to establish a fund for small grants to upgrade community centres around the country.”
While the exact allocations for programmes will be decided as part of the annual budgetary process, this level of funding will ensure increased investment levels for all of the Departments schemes, building on the strong success of these schemes in recent years.
The rural development investment is framed by the Government’s recent rural development policy, Our Rural Future, which aims to achieve a thriving rural Ireland which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development.