To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of applications for the Project Ireland 2040 urban regeneration fund; the status of the applications; the value of grants that will be issued in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) was launched as part of Project Ireland 2040 to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities, regional drivers and other large urban centres, with €2 billion available to 2027.
A total of 189 applications were submitted to my Department under the first call for proposals. Following a three-staged assessment process, I announced 88 successful proposals in November 2018, details of which are published on my Department's website.
The projects involved fall into two categories: Category A - projects that are 'ready to go' - and Category B - projects which are at an earlier stage (Master Planning/Feasibility) and which will assist in forming a future pipeline of projects. Successful bid proposals have been approved in principle, subject to final agreement of technical details with my Department, and the funding allocations should be regarded as an initial investment of support for the projects.
My Department has been actively engaging with successful applicants on the detailed progression of their proposals in 2019. This process will be finalised shortly, following which project conditions and formal grant agreements will be concluded.
Funding of €100 million has been allocated in respect of the 88 successful proposals, combining both category A and B projects. In terms of 2019 spend, while an initial allocation of €71 million was provided for the URDF as published in my Department’s 2019 Estimate, it was determined in the context of the accommodation of increased costs of the development of the National Children’s Hospital, that €13 million of drawdown under the URDF could be re-profiled from 2019 to 2020 without any delay in the progression of successful proposals. I am satisfied at this point that the revised allocation of €58 million in respect of URDF grants for 2019 will be spent in full.
It is expected that a second call for proposals for 2020 funding will be launched later in Q1 2019 and a workshop for applicants will be organised in advance. It is envisaged that this application period will run until summer 2019.
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