Deadline approaching for Fáilte Ireland funding scheme for private and community SMEs to develop regenerative tourism projects in Midlands

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24 May 2024

Deadline approaching for Fáilte Ireland funding scheme for private and community SMEs to develop regenerative tourism projects in Midlands

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  • Fáilte Ireland’s Private and Community SME scheme for regenerative tourism projects closes on 30th June 2024.
  • Scheme to deliver investment grant-aid for private and community-based micro enterprises and SMEs within the EU Just Transition Territory*.
  • Tourism Activator allocated to each county to support applicants.
  • Guidelines for the Scheme available here

Private and community businesses with an idea for a tourism project are being encouraged to apply for Fáilte Ireland’s Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme 2023-2026 which is part of the EU Just Transition Fund.

The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest, the first step in a 2-step application process, is 30th June at 12 noon. Prospective applicants must have submitted an Expression of Interest by 30th June in order to progress to the full application stage. Applications cannot be considered unless an Expression of Interest is completed. Once a project is confirmed as eligible through the Expression of Interest stage, full applications must be submitted by the end of 2024. Funding for this scheme is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so early application is strongly advised as all projects must be fully completed, and all funds drawn down by 31st August 2026.

Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under the EU Just Transition Fund, the scheme offers grant-aid to private and community-based micro enterprises and SMEs located within the EU Just Transition Territory*. The ambition is to attract more visitors and increase the length of their stays by expanding the range of things for visitors to see and do. This is expected to create new jobs in the sector and help grow the visitor economy in the midlands.

Head of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands at Fáilte Ireland, Paddy Mathews said:

“I really encourage anyone located in the EU Just Transition Territory* with an idea for a tourism project to submit an Expression of Interest for the Scheme before the 30th June 2024. The funding for this scheme is distributed on a first come first served basis following evaluation, so it’s really important that interested people make their submissions as soon as possible. The EU Just Transition Fund is a once in a generation funding scheme, which has enormous potential to transform Ireland’s Midlands and build a greener future.” 

“Local community enterprises and small-to-medium businesses in the territory can express their interest in developing a sustainable tourism project through the fáilteireland.ie website and funding is available across a range of categories including sustainable visitor experiences, low carbon tourism accommodation development, and accessibility enhancements.” 

“The deadline for completion of projects and draw down of funds is 31st of August 2026, so I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in this scheme and has yet to Express their Interest to do so before the 30th June 2024 deadline, and to submit their full application as soon as possible after that. Anyone who needs additional support can get in touch with their local Tourism Activator. The projects funded under this scheme will help create more reasons for domestic and international tourists to visit the Midlands while also sustaining jobs, businesses and local communities in these parts of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ireland’s Ancient East.”

Expressions of Interest can be submitted through Fáilte Ireland’s website failteireland.ie and a dedicated Tourism Activator has been allocated to each county to support applicants to develop their applications. Find the full list of Tourism Activators and their contact details here.

There are four project categories within the scheme that will be considered for funding:

  • Development or Enhancement of Sustainable Visitor Experiences
  • Development of Sustainable/Low Carbon Tourist Accommodation
  • Capital Project Planning & Design
  • Accessibility enhancements to provide a more inclusive visitor experience.

Expressions of Interest for the Investment Grant-Aid Scheme will be accepted until 12pm Sunday, 30th June 2024. Applications will be assessed by Fáilte Ireland, who will provide guidance on the programme and offer direct support. Applicants can find more information and complete an Expression of Interest at www.failteireland.ie.

See more details about the EU Just Transition Fund here .

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