Report on briefing session on the Urban and Rural Regeneration Funds September 2018

Clare PPN Staff member Sarah Ferrigan attended a workshop last Wednesday 5th September aimed at organisations who intend to apply for funding under either the Urban or Rural Regeneration Funds.  Read her report below and see also the attached PDFS which were provided at the session.

Background: The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) together with Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) held a joint regional briefing in respect of both the Urban and Rural Regeneration Funds that were launched in July as part of Project Ireland 2040.  The briefing was intended to assist and inform bodies that may be considering making a bid for funding to either or both Funds, particularly now as bids are being formulated and questions arise.

Provision is made in the National Development Plan (NDP) for €2bn to 2027 for the urban fund and €1bn to 2027 for the rural fund, to support implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF).

PDFs from the briefing:

Project Ireland 2040 and the URDF

Urban Regeneration & Development Funds 2018

Sarah’s report:

Report on Southern Regional Assembly Meeting, 5 September, Silver Springs Cork.

4 billion over 10 years for transformational projects

  • Urban Regional Development Fund (URDF) – 2 billion
  • Rural Regional Development Fund (RRDF) – 1 billion
  • Climate action fund – €500k
  • Disruptive Technologies fund – €500k

Category 1 – No minimum bid, shovel ready for 2019, consents & planning in place. Collaboration with bodies/organisations used to government funding as reporting and auditing requirement onerous.

Category 2 – €500,000 minimum bid, pipeline projects or project development with clear potential possibly leading to Category 1 bid in following year.

Urban Regional Development Fund (URDF)

  • Urban centres with population greater than 10,000
  • Towns with population between 2,500 and 10,000
  • administered by Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government
  • 2 billion to 2027
  • Supports National Planning Framework (NPF) and National Development Plan (NDP)
  • Ideally local authority led but with partners (community/private sectors)
  • Planning must be in place or in progress by the end of January 2019
  • Category 1 and 2 can be clustered to get to 10m.
  • 75% funding with matched of 25%

Rural Regional Development Fund (RRDF)

  • Rural town with population less than 2,500
  • Towns with population between 2,500 and 10,000
  • Administered by Department of Community & Rural Development
  • 1 billion to 2027 (initial €315 million 2019-2022)
  • Supports National Planning Framework (NPF)
  • Encourages collaboration ( with regard to capacity of partners)
  • Has a social and economic impact
  • Planning permission must be in place at time of contract
  • Towns can cluster projects into one application
  • Avoid duplication but can develop an existing project only if it could not have been done in another way
  • Land valuation can be used as matched funding
  • Up to 80% funding with at least 20% matched

*NOTE: A decision has yet to be made as to whether LEADER funding can be used as matched funding

Timeline:

Closing dates:

  • RRDF 27th September
  • URDF 28th September

Followed by approvals in November and project commencement in January 2019.  Next call in mid – 2019

Q&A

High degree of competition locally?Organisations should work together to make a submission for their town and utilise each other’s expertise

Are closing dates flexible?This is a multi-year programme.   If you miss this round get ready for the next one.  They do not want to reallocate money from a project whose application was rushed and therefore unsustainable

Organisations often have no control over delays in planning/CPO’s/legal matters.  What happens if it drags on?As above it is a multi-year programme however if progress is being made by January 2019 it will be assessed.

Can applications be made for area based programmes within a city?Yes as long as it is a project that would not have occurred otherwise and must be concentrated in an area of the city that needs it the most.

What about housing? Can some projects be mixed use to include social housing?The fund is not for housing but to provide the infrastructure and amenities to be ready for new housing.

Can it be used to join up greenways?The greenway fund is separate and geographical areas need to come together to decide the viability of joining up greenways.

If an organisation has unspent money from funds awarded in 2017 can it be utilised as matched funding?It depends on who awarded the funding, what its purpose was and if you have permission.

Can land acquisition be part of expenditure?Yes

RRDF guidelines say that the project should be replicable?Great if easily replicable but not the be all and end all

Are funds already spent on a project allowed as expenditure in application?No, sunk cost are not allowed in application.

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