Fine Gael TD for Kerry, Brendan Griffin, has said that funding of €217,600 for rural development in Kerry is great news and will help support local communities.
“In total, funding of over €3.7 million is being made available for Rural Economic Development Zone (REDZ) pilot projects around Ireland. Under the pilot project Killarney/Killorglin is to get €143,600, €40,000 for Cahersiveen and €34,000 for Killorglin.
“Rural Economic Development Zones are sub-county zones, within which most people live and work. The funding announced this week is on a pilot basis and supports the development of these areas.
“This investment is aimed at boosting employment, tackling rural isolation and helping communities to identify the issues, as well as the solutions. The aim is to support communities to avail of opportunities to help themselves and their local areas.
“I feel that rural communities know best themselves what they need and I hope that this pilot funding will provide much needed resources to communities in Killarney, Killorglin and Cahersiveen, to further the economic development of their areas.
“It is hoped that if this pilot scheme is a success, a call for proposals for a more extensive REDZ initiative, under the LEADER elements of the RDP, will take place next year.
“This REDZ funding comes after the Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week announced the €30 million Village and Town Renewal Scheme, which will run over 6 years and help to support towns and villages across the country.
“Fine Gael is keenly aware of the impact the economic downturn has had on towns and villages throughout Ireland and this year we launched the Standing Up for Rural Ireland campaign where our TDs came together to work to advocate on behalf of rural communities to ensure that the economic recovery spreads to all parts of Ireland. Other parties talk up the demise of rural Ireland. Fine Gael doesn’t buy into this. Rural Ireland is alive, but it needs support and this Government is committed to supporting it, with actions and funding, rather than just words.”