Project Ireland 2040 will deliver real investment and proper planning for Kerry- Griffin

Brendan Griffin


Friday, 16th February 2018


Project Ireland 2040 will deliver real investment and proper planning for Kerry- Griffin

Kerry is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning as a result of Project Ireland 2040.

Minister Griffin said the plan will support families and strengthen communities in Kerry, and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.

Speaking about Project 2040 which was launched by Government today (Friday), Minister Griffin said:

“In the first version of Fine Gael’s Republic of Opportunity document, we said it is time to plan for what Ireland is going to look like in 2040.

“This is our plan for the future of Ireland. For the first time in the history of the State, our spatial planning is backed up with solid investment and it will deliver for our citizens.

“The National Planning Framework which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 sets out how Ireland can grow in a sustainable, balanced fashion over the next twenty years. 50% of population growth is planned for our towns, villages and rural communities and 50% for our cities. Project Ireland 2040 is backed and supported up by a €115bn National Development Plan.

“Our population is expected to have increased to 6 million people by 2040 and, without any State intervention, this will result in ongoing shift in population and jobs towards Dublin and the neighbouring counties. This is not in anyone’s interests.

Project Ireland 2040 for Kerry and the South-West of Ireland

Overview for Kerry:

· Project Ireland 2040 seeks to enhance regional connectivity and competitiveness, improve environmental sustainability and build a fairer, more equal Ireland where everyone has the opportunity to live in a strong community and reach their full potential.  

· Kerry will play a key role in implementing Project Ireland 2040, building on its strong performance as a self-sustaining county with both an internationally renowned tourism and business eco-system and a very strong network of towns and associated rural surrounds, to be strengthened through enhanced connectivity and infrastructure. 

Selected highlights for Kerry include:

Tralee Northern Relief Road

· Investment for the Tralee Northern Relief Road scheme will provide a new link to join the completed N22/N69 Tralee bypass to the Bracker O’Regan Road – completing the Relief Road project. The project is at appraisal stage with an expected completion date of end-2021. 

N69 Listowel Bypass and Dingle Relief Road

· Investment in roads in Kerry also includes the N69 Listowel Bypass, which will combat congestion through Listowel town and crossing the River Feale. This is currently at contract stage and will also improve access to Shannon Foynes Port. Additionally, the Dingle Relief Road project is ready to commence construction and is likely to be completed by the end 2019. This work will complete the 4th phase of a ring road around Dingle to relieve congestion 

N22 – Ballyvourney/Macroom

· Investment in the roads network in Cork also includes the N22 Ballyvourney Macroom Project, which will also be hugely beneficial for Kerry.  

The Following Section of the national road network will be progressed through pre-appraisal and early planning in 2018 to prioritise projects which are proceeding to construction in the National Development Plan

· N21 Newcastle West Bypass 

· N21 AbbeyfealE 

Regional Airports Programme

· The Government will continue to support the Regional Airports Programme, which involves financial support to the smaller regional airports including Kerry. 

Higher Education

· Eleven major infrastructure projects will be delivered around the country as part of a Public-Private Partnership Programme for the Higher Education sector, including Institute of Technology Tralee in Kerry. 

Kerry Central Regional Water Supply Scheme

· The Kerry Central Regional Water Supply Scheme involves a €33m investment to build a new water treatment plant for Central Kerry which, when complete, will provide treated water to communities including Tralee, Killarney, Castleisland and Castlemaine. The completion of this scheme will see approximately 62,000 customers removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List.  

Investment in National Heritage

· Project Ireland 2040 will see a €285 million investment in our national heritage. This includes Killarney National Park (investment in outdoor recreational facilities), Skellig Michael and Valentia Cable Station.  

Flood Risk Management:

· Tralee has been identified for investment in a large flood relief scheme as part of the National Development Plan.  

Fisheries Harbour Centres (FHC) –Dingle

· Capital investment programme across all six FHCs encompassing ongoing safety and maintenance and necessary new developments the FHCs. This is required to provide suitable, safe, efficient and hygienic facilities to further develop a modern offshore Irish fishing fleet and increase landings into our Fishery Harbour Centres. 

Social Housing

· Of the 2,000 additional social housing units in current delivery, specific examples include projects at Rathmore/Barraduff 20 dwellings, The Park, Killarney 20 dwellings; Ardbhearna, Kenmare 22 homes. 

Rural Regeneration and Development

· Investment projects in towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000 in Kerry will be in a position to benefit from a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will invest €1bn in promoting rural renewal in Ireland, to help towns, villages and rural areas to grow in a sustainable way. 

Gaeltacht Investment

· Project Ireland supports Gaeltacht areas across the country, for example by prioritising investment in the development of tourism facilities in the development of Sli Chorca Dhuibhne walking route in Co Kerry. Increased investment to enable the creation of 1,000 jobs every year in Gaeltacht areas across the country including Kerry. 

Court Services

· Provision of further new or refurbished courthouses in provincial cities and county towns will be progressed, including at Tralee.  

Tourism – Investment in Fáilte Ireland

· Almost €108 million has been allocated to Fáilte Ireland for capital investment in Tourism Product Development over the next four years and it is intended that this level of funding will, at a minimum, be maintained over the lifetime of the National Development Plan. Fáilte Ireland will continue to invest in the priority areas that will deliver sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector resulting in higher revenue and more jobs. 

Atlantic Corridor

· A particular priority in this is substantially delivering the Atlantic Corridor, with a high quality road network linking Cork, Limerick, Galway and Sligo. 

· Important elements of Strategic Investment Priorities set out in other sections of this National Development Plan will also have a central role to play in achieving Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities. For example investments in … further upgrading of the national roads network including improving accessibility and connectivity on the emerging Atlantic Economic Corridor that links major centres on the western seaboard. 

· IDA 

IDA property solutions, strategic sites and grants in all regions will deliver new Foreign Direct Investment and high-quality jobs. Since it is more challenging to win new investment outside metropolitan areas, advanced planning and provision of property solutions will be expanded in all regions. Ireland’s ability to secure significant new large-scale capital investment in all regions is partly dependent on the ready availability of serviced sites of scale with appropriate zoning and capacity for required utilities to match the needs of large capital intensive projects.  

Other aspects of Project 2040 which will benefit the South-West Region include:

· The acceleration of the National Broadband Plan ensuring coverage in villages, rural areas is a key priority. 

· For social housing, the target across the 2016-2021 period is to deliver approximately 7,000 additional social homes under this programme across the South West region. Over two thirds of this will be through new build and a healthy pipeline of activity is already in place with around 2,000 units completed, on site or progressing through approval stages. For more information, please visit the Rebuilding Ireland website 

· Investment in schools includes a nationwide school building programme to respond to demographic changes, as well as the Prefab Replacement Programme, Summer Works Schemes and Minor Works Schemes to support the ongoing school maintenance and upgrade programmes. For pre 2008 schools, a deep energy retrofit programme will be commenced and progressed. 

· The Digital Strategy for Schools rollout is a priority for Government, and will further embed technology and digital learning in primary and post-primary schools throughout the region. 

· Increased investment will also support new Physical Education facilities in post-primary schools, to ensure that students have access to the appropriate facilities to support PE provisions, particularly in the context of the roll-out of PE as a Leaving Certificate subject. 

· Over €100 million in capital funding has been allocated nationally for the Sport Capital Programme (SCP) for the coming four years. This programme will be further expanded over the period 2022 to 2027 which will allow for the continued development of new and improved sports facilities in both urban and rural areas. 

· To help support employment and enterprise, new Regional Sectoral Clusters will be developed. Led by industry, these Clusters will involve regional SMEs and multinationals collaborating with research centres and third-level institutions, with the aim of scaling and internationalising enterprise in all regions.  

· 2018 will also see the launch of the second phase of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund involving €60m in total, under Project Ireland 2040. 

· As part of the Government’s priority efforts to support and equip SMEs for the challenges of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices are supporting exposed enterprises with targeted programmes to improve their competitiveness and innovation performance, and to diversity trade from the UK to new markets.  

· A €300m loan fund is also open to businesses of less than 500 employees, nation-wide, which are exposed to the impact of Brexit. 

· Rural and community development in the region will be supported by, for example, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, LEADER, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the Clár Programme, the RAPID Programme and further libraries investment. 

· On farm Investment – Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme – support for on-farm facilities and equipment in the South-West to enhance growth and competiveness, address climate and environmental issues, improve animal welfare and farm safety. Targets young farmers to address the age profile of the sector.  

· Forestry Programme – Funding for Afforestation grants, forestry development supports as well as premia for existing forestry. In addition to their valuable economic contribution to the rural economy forests play an essential role in helping with climate change mitigation, through carbon sequestration in forests and the provision of renewable fuels and raw materials.  

· National Food Innovation Hub – Funding to create a supportive environment for research and innovation involving food companies and research institutes with a focus on food, health and nutrition.  

· Prepared Consumer Food Innovation Centre – Funding to improve the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the PCF sector 

· European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme – Support for investment in productive capacity in aquaculture and for investment in seafood processing equipment and facilities to assist SME seafood enterprises to scale up and invest in the technology to move up the value chain and to diversify their exports. 

· The multi-annual funding framework for the Rural Water Programme is comprised of a range of measures to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of rural water services infrastructure, including group water schemes and group sewerage schemes. The aim of this Programme is to strengthen rural economies and communities. 

· Continued investment in our national transport networks will help ensure high levels of service quality, accessibility and connectivity. This includes for example, a National Train Control Centre to improve rail traffic management, and increased investment in rural transport programmes.  

· Health investment projects in the South West include the development of primary care centres and the upgrading and replacement of community nursing units across the region. A new Hospital for Cork and new dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities will be introduced. 

“Kerry is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning thanks to Project Ireland 2040.

“This sustainable planning for Kerry, backed by real investment, will support families and strengthen communities here. With Project Ireland 2040, Fine Gael is ensuring sustainable growth for the future of Kerry. What’s good for Kerry is also good for the surrounding region,” Minister Griffin said.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion. This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future.”


**Available for broadcast interview**

For Further Information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841


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