Four projects in Donegal have secured backing under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to drive tourism and enterprise in the county.

They are The Base Digital Working Hub, Stranorlar; Glenveagh National Park improvements; Tourism Masterplan at Glenveagh; and LYIT Plan For Blue Economy Hub Killybegs

Minister Joe McHugh who made the announcement said: "“Donegal has once again secured great support from this Government to revitalise communities, build new ventures and showcase the county to more and more people.

“Thanks to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, announced last year as part of Project Ireland 2040, Donegal is benefitting. The fund will ensure the development of a new rural digital working hub at The Base in Stranorlar – one of four DigiWest hubs to be backed thanks to a €644,000 funding pot for the Western Development Commission.

“Glenveagh National Park will benefit as part of a €5million for the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht to run two projects.  About €3.9million will go to upgrading and developing tracks and trails and visitor facilities, improving signage and branding and about €1.1million will create a masterplan for tourism in Glenveagh and the other five national parks.

“It’s about marketing the wild and beautiful ruggedness of Glenveagh; a jewel in the crown of the country never mind the county.

“On top of that LYIT have secured support worth €293,436 as part of its ambitions to create a plan to capitalise on the blue economy and the idea of an Ocean Innovation Centre in the fishing and cruise ship port.

“This strong support comes on the back of the €4million funding through this Rural Regeneration Fund for two tourism and enterprise projects in the county.

“This Government threw its weight behind the need to bring Swan Park in Buncrana back to life after the Inishowen floods in 2017 thanks to a €1.7million grant.

“And this fund has also been brilliant in helping to support Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair with €1.5million for an extension of the digital hub, opening up more valuable office space. Both of those are a phenomenal statement of intent for the county.

“It is only because of the direct action that I took across Government that funding was secured for Swan Park - not only to restore it but to take it to another level.”

The Department of Rural and Community Development which administers the Rural Regeneration and Development fund has already sanctioned more than €3.2million for projects in Donegal.

Minister McHugh said:  “These funds are a phenomenal success for the county.  There’s no two ways about it. I have spoken to Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring and I am confident that another round of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will open later this year.  I look forward to lending my support to progressing other valuable projects in the county.”

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