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Details of a new phase of the REDZ initiative to stimulate economic development in rural towns and their hinterlands have been announced by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys.
A total of €5 million will be made available under the 2016 Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative, building on the success of a 2015 pilot scheme which saw €3.8 million being provided to projects across Ireland. 
The 2016 REDZ scheme will provide up to 80% financial support for proposed projects, with the balance of costs to be provided from other sources (e.g. Local Authorities, business interests or community-based funding). 
The 2016 REDZ initiative is part of the Government’s programme for Rural Development. Other initiatives recently introduced by Government as part of this programme include the new Town and Village Renewal Scheme (€10 million allocation for 2016), the allocation of €4.5 million to support rural recreation infrastructure and the establishment of a National Taskforce to identify practical measures which can be taken in the short-term to improve Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage in rural areas.

Launching the new phase of the scheme at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister Humphreys said, "As the economy recovers, the Government is determined to ensure that the benefits of this recovery are felt in every community across Ireland. If we are to support the people who want to live and work in rural Ireland, we need to harness the human and natural capital that is available in and around rural towns, to create economic opportunity and support job creation."