Taoiseach and Minister Howlin welcome €320 million investment package for Border, Midland and Western Region New Programme launched by Taoiseach and Minister

Issued 28 May 2015

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., and Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, today (28 May 2015) welcomed the launch of a €320 million investment package for the Border, Midland and Western Region backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Ballaghaderreen, Minister Howlin said:-

The Operational Programme we are launching today is about strengthening research and innovation in the region; about improving ICT infrastructure; about supporting SMEs; about improving energy efficiency; and about supporting sustainable urban development.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D said:- 

Today’s launch of the €320 million investment package for the Border Midland and Western Region represents a key milestone on our path to secure recovery for all of Ireland. This fund will help support small and medium size businesses to grow and create valuable jobs across the region. Job plans such as this are an essential part of our plan to reach full employment by 2018.

In the context of the 2013 agreement on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which was reached under the Irish Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Government was successful in securing €1.2 billion of Cohesion policy funding for the period 2014-2020.   This represents an increase of 8% in real terms over the 2007-2013 period, at a time when the overall EU budget for Cohesion policy was reduced by 8%. 

This funding will be delivered through the two ERDF Regional Programmes, as well as a National Programme under the European Social Fund (ESF) and a number of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes, such as the cross-border PEACE Programme.

The ERDF Programme for the Border, Midland & Western region will have a total value of €320 million, including ERDF funding of €160 million.

The Minister said:-

I am especially pleased that the Government had secured a special additional allocation of €100 million for the Border, Midland & Western Region in recognition of the fact that it is now classified by the EU for statistical purposes as a more developed region.  

The special allocation will be delivered through the ERDF Programme for the region as well as through Ireland’s ESF Programme. 

This special allocation is one of two secured by Ireland.  The Government was also successful in securing €150 million (2011 prices) towards a new cross-border PEACE programme.