Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and several Government Ministers have today launched the €4bn Project Ireland 2040 funds for rural development, urban regeneration, climate action and innovation.
The Ireland 2040 project will now see money directed towards rural development, urban regeneration, climate action and innovation.
The four new funds will help to ensure balanced regional development and are designed to stimulate renewal and investment in rural and urban areas, the environment and innovation, preparing Ireland for a future with 1 million more people and 660,000 more people at work.
The funds are:
Speaking at the launch today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “We expect our country’s population to grow by more than a million over the next twenty years, with two-thirds of a million more people at work.
"That is a huge level of growth for a country of our size and we must plan for it now.
"Project Ireland 2040 seeks to ensure that 75% of this growth will take place outside Dublin and in particular, we have set the ambitious target that the cities of Limerick, Cork, Galway and Waterford will grow at twice the rate of Dublin."
Among those present was the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe who said almost every area will benefit.
He said: "“The introduction of these four funds is a major innovation in the reformed funding model outlined in the National Development Plan.
"The intention is that the funds will play an important role in moving away from providing funding resources to individual organisations, essentially on the basis of current investment patterns, in favour of supporting collaborative bids for funding important projects on a competitive basis.
“The funds, which total an estimated €4 billion over the 10-year period of the National Department Plan, will be open to submissions from this summer, with funding being allocated from 2019 onwards.
"I believe the four funds will play a very important role in driving delivery of the National Planning Framework, developing our five cities and the strengthening our rural economies and communities.”