Ministers Humphreys and O’Brien welcome €341 million allocation for rural and community development in Budget 2021

€23 million in additional investment for rural Ireland and our communities 

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., and Minister of State with responsibility for Communities, Joe O’Brien T.D., today welcomed the 341 million euro to the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of Budget 2021.

The two Ministers have secured €23 million of additional funding, representing an overall 7pc increase in funding.

The Budget has a particular focus on supporting rural communities that have been impacted by Covid-19.

Among the measures contained in the Budget include:

  • An extra €5 million to invest in remote working facilities at Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) and Digital Hubs
  • €2 million extra to fund masterplans for up to 50 town centres
  • An additional €2 million for greenways, blueways, trails and other amenities
  • Extra funding for schemes such as LEADER, CLÁR and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF)
  • €2 million in additional funding for our islands

 

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“This Budget allocation of €341 million clearly demonstrates the Government’s commitment to our rural towns, villages and communities.

“Rural Ireland has shown tremendous resilience during Covid-19 and this budget allocation will centre upon economic recovery, job creation and the digital economy.

“I’m particularly pleased to see further investment in remote, or connected, working. And our commitment to our island communities is also evident through increased capital funding.

“An additional €2million in funding has been secured for the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme bringing total funding to €12m in 2021.

“This will enable us to develop more greenways, cycleways and walking trails as we seek to build on the greatly increased interest in outdoor activities and staycations caused by COVID19.

“Along with Minister O’Brien, I am confident this Government will take the measures necessary to strengthen our rural communities and ensure a fair and balanced recovery for all.”

Welcoming today’s Budget announcement, Minister O’Brien said:

“I am especially pleased to see an increase in the funding for volunteering, the community services programme and new community development projects. The response to the Covid pandemic has shown just how important community services and the community and voluntary sector is. This budget will allow us to continue our strong support for the area and ensure we continue to help those in our communities who need it most.”

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