The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, together with the Southern Regional Assembly, Northern and Western Regional Assembly and the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly, launched Ireland’s two European Regional Development Programmes (ERDF) Programmes for the period 2021 – 2027. Following lengthy negotiations, the EU Commission adopted the two ERDF Programmes on the 18th of November 2022.
The two ERDF Programmes set out Ireland’s investment strategy for €853 million, of which €396 million is financed by the EU. The ERDF supports Irish regions in promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in line with key EU priorities.
The programmes will focus on three strategic outcomes:
- Developing smarter more competitive regions through measures like building Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) capacity in public research institutions and by strengthening regional innovation systems in line with Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Regional Enterprise Plans.
- Supporting actions to scale up energy efficiency measures for those in energy poverty.
- Supporting the sustainable regeneration of towns and urban centres using a Town Centres First Framework.
The programme covering the area north west of the country is to be managed by the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) and the programme covering the midlands, south and east of the country is to be managed by the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA), with significant collaboration from the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly (EMRA).
Commenting on the adoption of the ERDF Programmes, Minister McGrath said, “we have secured €396 million of EU funding for the ERDF programmes. When national co-financing is included, it allows spending and investment of over €850 million to get underway across the two regions, which will benefit thousands of people for the period out to 2027. This funding represents the continuation of an important support mechanism for projects focussing on regional research and innovation and addressing the challenges of the green and digital transformation.”
“The adoption of these regional programmes represents the culmination of extensive work and effort by many stakeholders in particular the Regional Assemblies and I would like to acknowledge and thank all those involved. I wish those with the responsibility of implementing these programmes every success in the years ahead.”