The recent announcement that €62 million in funding has been allocated to 66 projects under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund has been welcomed by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

This brings the total amount allocated under the fund – which aims to support self-sustaining projects in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000 – to €86 million, with 84 projects benefitting.

A number of projects across counties Galway and Roscommon will benefit as part of this funding run. Category 1 – or ‘Ready-to-Go’ – proposals in Co. Roscommon have been allocated approximately €5 million.

Fitzmaurice said: “Roscommon County Council has been granted €1,705,705 for the regeneration of Boyle – which will include the refurbishment and conversion of the old Royal Hotel.

“The An Bealach Project in Ballaghadareen will receive €1,656,750, while the An Chistin Project in Castlerea has been awarded €1,545,000.

“As well as this, a rural digital working hub will be established in Tulsk – among three other places in the west of Ireland – thanks to the Western Development Commission being given €644,734 for the DigiWest project.

“Meanwhile, Galway County Council has been allocated €3,554,000 in order to complete the Bia Innovator Campus in Athenry as well as to develop the town as a local retail destination.”

Furthermore, a number of Category 2 proposals will receive funding in order to enhance their development.

The Roscommon-Galway welcomed the news that Galway County Council has been awarded €960,909 for the regeneration of Dunmore.

Continuing, he said: “It is hoped that this funding will go towards developing the detailed design for the removal of derelict properties from Dunmore, as well as enhancing the remaining buildings.

“The Roscommon Integrated Development Company will receive just over €20,000 in order to develop a project that will convert 3 unoccupied town centre buildings in Ballaghadareen into creative studios.

“As well as this, projects in Tuam and Kinvara have been granted €175,000 and €124,781 respectively.”

Concluding, Fitzmaurice said: “This funding is a step in the right direction for rural communities in Ireland, which have been decimated of late by the current Government.

“In the last number of years, we have seen Garda Stations and Post Offices close in communities in rural parts of the country. The pub trade has taken a dive due to new laws and the lack of adequate public transport.

“This funding announcement must be welcomed, as it looks to build the resilience in rural communities and halt the movement of people towards the larger urban areas.

“It is vitally important that these projects deliver real benefits for people living in the local area.”

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