DONEGAL is to receive over €21 million under the Rural Regeneration Programme – the largest allocation of any county in the State.
The package will see Carndonagh receive €9.5 million and Ballybofey/ Stranorlar supported to the tune of €9.7 million. Burtonport has also been successful and will get €2 million, following its receipt of funding of €3.1 million to improve infrastructure around the mainland harbour and amenities in Árainn Mhór in late 2019.
Announcing the money, TD for Donegal, Joe McHugh, said, “I am delighted to announce this morning that Donegal is to benefit by over €21 million under the Rural Regeneration Funding Programme.
Donegal TD Joe McHugh said, “The Rural Regeneration Project has had a positive effect in Donegal over a number of years now with many projects being supported in our county.
“I worked closely with former Minister Michael Ring while he was responsible for rural affairs, and I am delighted to see Minister Heather Humphreys continue with this positive work.”
The TÚS Nua Regeneration Project, Carndonagh, includes the restoration of vacant town centre buildings to provide a new digital fabrication laboratory and co-working hub, a social space for young people and teenagers. It also includes the restoration of a stone outbuilding to a ‘Creative Makers Hub’ for creative and craft industries.
The Strengthen, Engage, Enable, Deliver Project (SEED) is for a large-scale regeneration of Ballybofey by restoring social, cultural, community and economic purpose and function to the centre of the town. It includes the restoration and redevelopment of the Ritz Heritage Building as a 1400 square metre enterprise hub.
The Ailt an Chorráin Harbour Redevelopment will deliver phase of the Burtonport/Árainn Mhór project to regenerate a maritime gateway to the island. The project will deliver opportunities for economic, social and cultural renewal, increasing footfall in the area and improving the overall experience of those using the harbour, in turn strengthening the emerging tourism potential of the area and driving economic recovery through the creation of employment opportunities.
I would like to acknowledge Paul Kelly and his team at Donegal County Council who have been working closely with Minister Heather Humphreys and her department officials for their sterling efforts and for forwarding such strong applications to attract such important funding,” Joe McHugh said.
“We can see the massive benefit these projects have in our regions, for our young people, our families and local community enterprise and voluntary groups.
“Heather Humphreys and I met in recent days with a number of constituents in Donegal, business owners and enterprise centre managers at the ‘Shape Your Future’ virtual event. The majority of people polled at this meeting would love to see a hybrid option when it comes to remote working, and this is where our digital enhancements and hubs will be of benefit in our communities.
“Donegal has a strong presence of digital hubs in the county and some still under construction.
“Funding commitments have been secured for Kerrykeel, Carrigart, Buncrana and Kilcar, Gaoth Dobhair and Oileán Árainn Mhór are already up and running, through their involvements with Donegal County Council, Údarás na Gaeltachta, DLDC and Donegal Local Enterprise Office.
“I have been working closely with Councillor Bernard McGuinness on the Carndonagh project, and with Councillor Martin Harley in the Twin Towns and both are delighted to see these communities, who have been working hard on these proposals and projects over a number of years, successful in this round of funding.
“I wish to congratulate all those involved in these community projects, in TÚS Nua in Carndonagh, the SEED project in Ballybofey/Stranorlar and Comharchumann Árainn Mhóir and all involved in the Burtonport Redevelopment Project on their hard work and dedication to ensuring these proposals have become a reality for our communities and for Donegal,” Joe McHugh added.