€35m plan to rejuvenate Ireland’s harbours

Major boost for Ireland’s coastal communities in response to Brexit challenges.

A new €35m scheme to rejuvenate local authority public piers and harbours throughout Ireland’s coastal communities has been revealed.

The scheme is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) and was one of the recommendations of the Seafood Sector Taskforce which was established by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, TD, following Brexit.

“Brexit has and will continue to affect our seafood sector in a unique way compared to other industries”

In a report published last October, the Seafood Taskforce noted that many coastal structures, which are both important landmarks and facilities to the local communities, have declined in structural integrity and effective use over the years.

As one of its recommendations, the Seafood Taskforce recommended that the BAR be used to fund rejuvenation of Ireland’s publicly owned coastal and marine infrastructure specifically to address the economic consequences of Brexit arising from the implications to the Irish fishing industry.

This investment is intended to help to drive economic diversification and will complement other measures such as Community Led Local Development via the Fisheries Local Action Groups.

‘Shovel-ready’

The investment scheme focuses on ‘shovel-ready’ projects to give immediate construction stimulus to the coastal communities affected by the TCA and is targeted to attract such projects of up to €1m budget during 2022 and 2023.

The Scheme also offers the possibility of funding larger projects where there is particular exposure to Brexit due to proximity to UK waters and loss of fishing opportunities.  The projects will be delivered by the local authority which owns and maintains the relevant marine infrastructure. 

“This record funding for our coastal communities is an unprecedented opportunity for us to invest in our publicly owned piers and harbours and will shape the future of our coastal communities,” Minister McConalogue said.

“Brexit has and will continue to affect our seafood sector in a unique way compared to other industries. I am delighted to be able to offer this level of investment so that we can deliver safe, accessible, lasting infrastructure and support economic diversification right around our coastline.”

The Minister encouraged local authorities to make full use of this unique opportunity:

“So much of the outcome of Brexit has been bad news for local coastal communities. Now we have this opportunity to support economic growth and mitigate the negative impacts for these communities.  Ireland has fought hard for a fair BAR allocation; now we must put it to good use.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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