Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) Eoghan Murphy today met with immediate stakeholders and potential lead partners from local authorities, regional assemblies and government departments to discuss the €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) at an information seminar held at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise. The seminar was officially opened by the Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Cllr John King.
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund is a key part of Project Ireland 2040 the governments National Planning Framework (NPF) and National Development Plan (NDP). This initial €2 billion will provide funds as part of NDP to 2027 and is primarily to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities and other large urban centres. The programme is one of four funds launched under the National Development Plan 2017-2027 by the DHPLG with an overall fund allocation of €550 million up to 2022.
The fund will be a competitive bid-based programme that will operate on a multi-annual basis. Bid proposals are required to demonstrate that they will be:
- Public Sector led, but may also include community and/or private sector representation.
- Matched by at least 25% direct funding from other sources.
- Valued at a minimum of €2 million, for the delivery and/or further development of innovative and transformational urban regeneration proposals.
- A catalyst for development will occur that is likely to leverage significant further private sector investment.
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund is a welcome step in coordinated planning for the future, aligning planning policy and capital investment. Speaking on the fund earlier today the Chief Executive of Laois County Council John Mulholland highlighted the opportunities the programme presented for Irish towns stating:
“The announcement today of the new €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund presents a very welcome and timely opportunity for urban areas to deliver on their potential and to be truly innovative and brave in doing so.
I am particularly delighted that the preparatory work we have already done in Portlaoise now has a chance to gain benefit from support through the new fund and that in a relatively short time we may witness the beginning of positive change in our local urban environment.
I look forward to the prospects for a better town centre where business, community, culture and creativity will be given a chance to succeed and thrive.”
Closing dates for proposals for initial funding closes on 12 midday on Friday 28th September 2018.
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