Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy have today announced that 88 projects are to be allocated a total of €100 million under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), launched in July this year as part of Project Ireland 2040.
As a key part of Project Ireland 2040 – the Government’s National Planning Framework and National Development Plan – the fund will help to rejuvenate significant but underused areas in Ireland’s five cities and other large towns.
It’s one of four funds set up under the National Development Plan 2018-2027, and is being implemented by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. A total of €2 billion has been allocated to the URDF up to 2027, with €550 million available for between now and 2022.
The aim of the URDF is to stimulate new residential and commercial development in our larger cities and towns. These new developments will be supported by new services and amenities, and will help us to achieve the ‘compact growth’ that was set out in Project Ireland 2040.
Almost 200 applications were submitted to the Department since it launched its call for applications in July. There was a huge range of applications including: transforming the former school on Rutland Street within the North East Inner City as a community hub; support for large scale strategic sites on both sides of the river in the Cork Docklands Regeneration areas; Regeneration for O’Connell Street and projects in the city centre of Limerick; and public realm and riverside enhancement for the Abbey Quarter in Kilkenny.
Commenting on today’s announcement, An Taoiseach said:
The Urban Fund is aimed at all of our cities and towns with a population of more than 10,000. It’s an investment of €2bn over the next 10 years aimed at unlocking the potential undeveloped sites in our towns and cities. We want them to have vibrant centres and to grow up rather than out. “We want smart, compact, urban growth. We want to make sure we have more people living in our city centres and close to the centre of large towns, making it easier to walk to work, cutting commuting times and distances, making better use of existing infrastructure while also benefitting the environment. The scale of funding available under this fund means the successful projects will have a tangible and positive impact on the daily lives of people living in our large towns and cities. We have never planned our towns and cities in this way before. We’re announcing €100m in projects today and I look forward to seeing construction starting in the new year.
Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy said:
I’d like to extend my congratulations to successful applicants and wish to thank all those who submitted an application. I am hugely impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity demonstrated by all those involved throughout this process and am delighted to allocate €100 million in funding for 2019 to some very worthwhile projects. We will of course continue to work with those that wish to develop projects into the future and will enable a continual dialogue on this to ensure a pro-active delivery of sustainable projects. A key feature of this Fund is continued collaboration, whether between Government Agencies, local authorities, communities and other stakeholders. I wish successful applicants all the best with their proposals and I look forward to seeing the lasting impacts of these in the years to come.
Minister Murphy invites Proposals for €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF)
Mr Eoghan Murphy T.D. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today announced details of a €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).
As a key part of Project Ireland 2040 – the Government’s National Planning Framework and National Development Plan – the fund is intended to drive regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and underutilised areas within Ireland’s five cities, key regional drivers and other large towns.
The fund is one of four such funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) has responsibility for implementing the fund, which has €100m available for expenditure in 2019 and an overall allocation of €550 million allocated to the fund up to the end of 2022.
The fund will operate on a competitive, bid-based Exchequer grant basis, with proposals being required to demonstrate that they will be:
- Innovative and transformational urban regeneration projects;
- Public-sector led and with the option of community and/or private sector partners;
- Matched by at least 25% direct funding from other public and/or private sources;
- A minimum bid of €2m;
- A catalyst for development that would not otherwise occur; and
- Likely to leverage significant further public and private sector investment.
In announcing the call for proposals under the URDF at today’s Third Housing Summit with Local Authority Chief Executives, Minister Murphy has urged eligible applicants to avail of the opportunity through collaboration and making best use of the skills and talent available to design creative and innovative proposals.
This fund is about backing better and more coordinated planning for future generations in a way that meets the needs of our growing population and economy more sustainably, by re-imagining and turning around the all-too-frequent sight of empty or run-down or poorly utilised areas in the centres of our cities and larger towns. With this fund, we can now choose a better way to live and work and enjoy leisure time and go for real quality of life and make quality places rather than creating more commuting and urban sprawl”
Minister Murphy will hold an information seminar on the fund in Portlaoise on July 9th and full details on the fund can be found at: www.gov.ie/urdf or www.npf.ie. The closing date for applications under this initial call is 12 midday on Friday, 28th September 2018.
Urban Regeneration and Development Fund
Why is this fund being put in place?
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is being established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.
This is to enable a greater proportion of housing and commercial development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and to ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places where people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.
What type of projects will be eligible under the fund?
Types of projects eligible for funding will include, but are not limited to the acquisition, enabling and/or development of areas, sites and buildings, relocation of uses, public amenity works, community facilities, and infrastructure related to housing, economic or skills development (including enterprise and tourism), transport, services infrastructure and/or transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society, in an urban context.
Types of areas eligible for funding may include those that include a concentration of low-intensity uses, such as storage depots or warehousing, underutilised ‘backlands’ behind streets and buildings, or institutional sites that are suitable for re-development, as part of an overall regeneration proposal.
How will the fund operate?
The fund will operate on the basis of a scheme that will invite competitive bids from public bodies, which may be in the form of a consortium and may also include private sector and/or community/voluntary sector representation.
Bid proposals must be co-funded and will require a minimum 25% stakeholder contribution. Bids must also demonstrate a further requirement for 100% (euro-for-euro) leveraging of committed wider private sector investment (i.e. development) arising from fund expenditure.
The initial call for bids will invite proposals to be submitted under one of two categories as either:-
A) ‘Ready-to-go’ proposals that can be initiated in 2019 (consents, design etc. advanced or in place, therefore procurement ready), or
B) Proposals that require further development and, subject to this, may be initiated in 2019 or in subsequent years.
Category B proposals that require further development may be approved in principle for technical assistance, in order to create a pipeline of future projects.
Bids will be assessed by an expert evaluation panel that will make recommendations to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. Key assessment criteria will include:
- Relevance to Compact Growth and other National Strategic Outcomes (NSOs) in the NPF and NDP;
- Other funding leveraged;
- The extent of collaboration;
- Whether proposals are integrated to deliver sustainable development; and
- Potential to achieve transformational, place-based change.
Who is likely to be applicant(s) to the fund?
Bids for funding must be led by a public body, which may be a local authority or regional assembly, government department or agency, state-sponsored body, higher education institute or Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) development agency. Collaborative bids from consortia will be encouraged and may also include private and or community/voluntary sector representation.
How much is available under the Fund during Project Ireland 2040 and in 2019?
The value of the fund is €2 Billion for the ten-year duration of the National Development Plan (NDP) to 2027, with €550 million allocated in the NDP to 2022 and €100 million available for expenditure in 2019.
When will the fund be open (and when will there be further calls)?
The fund will be open for calls for proposals from the end of June, and close by the end of September. The duration of this period is to enable the formation of consortia and the preparation of bid proposals. There will be further calls subsequently, with the next call likely during mid-2019.