ISIF to invest €500m in 5 Irish cities

Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny are cornerstones of ISIF’s new investment strategy.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund is to invest €500m in five regional cities: Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny.

ISIF’s investment will result in major investment being targeted to each city in the form of new places to work, places to live and enabling investments resulting in regeneration of our regional city centres.

“Our new strategy also sets out a range of investment programmes that will back scaling-up businesses”

In addition ISIF will target investments at emerging and scaling businesses in the regional cities and other opportunities to support sustainable growth.

New strategy for ISIF

“Our new strategy shows just how flexible and adaptable ISIF can be in targeting its resources in the most effective manner possible to support economic activity and employment in Ireland, by addressing the critical challenges facing the state through transformational investments,” said ISIF director Nick Ashmore.

“We are planning a material step-up in our regional investments with a new initiative to unlock the economic potential of our five regional cities by backing transformational projects in each.

“This programme will generate economic benefits, supporting employment and making Ireland a more sustainable, competitive and attractive place both for the people who live here and the employers who can create jobs for them.

“Our new strategy also sets out a range of investment programmes that will back scaling-up businesses; deliver additional housing to build on our progress to date; and underpin the ambition displayed in our domestic food and agri sector, which has become a true global success story.

Key elements of the new strategy

  • The scaling-up of successful start-up businesses to enable them to reach the €1bn “unicorn” valuation within five years.
  • ISIF funding the delivery of 25,000 new homes by 2030 through a range of equity and debt investments. The new initiative will build on ISIF’s existing delivery of housing, which has seen it already commit €950m to housing investments that are on course to deliver 16,000 new homes over the coming years.
  • ISIF’s previously-announced plans to invest €1bn in transformational climate action investments that will support Ireland’s transition to a Net Zero low-carbon economy.
  • Investments will focus on four key themes: Housing and enabling infrastructure; Climate; Scaling Businesses; and Food and Agriculture. Existing priority themes of Brexit and Regional Development will be incorporated in each of the 4 new themes.
  • ISIF will retain the flexibility to invest outside of these 4 themes if necessary, using a new pool of capital under a National & Compelling theme which will be dedicated to unforeseen macroeconomic events such as the shock triggered by the Covid pandemic.

Transformational investments

“I welcome the launch of ISIF’s new Investment Strategy with its focus on long-term transformational investments addressing key strategic challenges facing the country including climate action, housing, scaling indigenous businesses, and food and agriculture,” said Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, TD.

“I am greatly reassured by the fact that ISIF retains the flexibility to invest outside of those 4 themes, if necessary, using a new pool allocated to National & Compelling investments, dedicated to unforeseen macroeconomic events such as the shock triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Having this flexibility allows the Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund (PSRF), established in response to the pandemic, to be wound down.

“I am also very pleased to see that a cornerstone of the strategy is a €500m city-specific investment programme to unlock the full economic potential of Ireland’s five regional cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny.”

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