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What is the Irish Government investing in?

Monday August 20th, 2018

When the roadmap for Project Ireland 2040 was published in July this year, the overarching policy initiative released with it by the Irish government contained a €116 billion spending strategy which aims to enhance the long-term infrastructure of Ireland.ireland

Key strands of the flagship plan are:

Local Infrastructure

€2 billion has been allocated to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, which aims to generate fresh development across Ireland’s five cities. The fund encourages bids of €2 million (minimum).

On top of this, €1 billion has also been allocated to Rural Regeneration and Development. This fund is aimed at supporting entrepreneurial spirit, improving housing and bolstering tourism and transport links.

Innovation
The launch of the €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is available for co-funded projects up to 2027. It is envisaged that partnerships will develop new digital advancements and make progress in artificial intelligence, food production, and manufacturing.

Environment
€500 million is available from the Climate Action Fund, which will support energy initiatives such as district heating, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in line with Ireland’s environmental targets. Funding is available for projects worth upwards of €1 million through to 2027.

Education
As of July 2018, the government has greenlit the country’s first technological university, which is to be named ‘Technological University Dublin’.

This establishment will be supported by the merger of Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght.

With a completion date set for January 2019, the new development will include a €1 billion campus in the centre of Dublin. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“Technological universities are central to delivering on this vision and will stimulate a more balanced growth of population and employment across Ireland. The ambition is simple: to drive regional development and provide more opportunities for individuals, enterprise, and community.”

Healthcare
Placing the needs of local communities front and centre, February 2018 saw the opening of two new primary care centres near Dublin. Part of a €810 million 10-year spending plan, these new centres will be joined by a new primary care facility in 2019, which is currently under construction.

Defence
Spending plans for Irish defence have also been outlined. €32 billion will be spent on PC-12 fixed wing utility aircraft. This is in addition to a maintenance programme for the Piranha IIIH fleet, which cost the Irish government around €55 billion.

Safeguarding the Irish coastline is another key priority of this administration, as was demonstrated through the recent announcement of €257 million for flood relief schemes as part of a larger €1 billion flood defence programme over 10 years.

Lewis McCathie

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