Improved broadband among priorities for €498.2m EU funding programme for South and East Ireland

Minister Brendan Howlin TD met European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu in Brussels today to sign the €498.2 m funding agreement for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the South East of Ireland for 2014-2020. Minister Howlin was accompanied by representatives of the Southern and Eastern regional assemblies for Ireland for 2014-2020.

Welcoming the signing of the programme, Commissioner Creţu said: “We need to empower citizens with the skills and knowledge they need to set up small companies; we need to facilitate the access of these businesses to financial support, and most importantly, we need to enable them to create jobs. Today’s investment programmes set all Irish regions on this path.”

Echoing this sentiment, Minister Howlin added: “The funding for the 2014 to 2020 programme will be used for areas such as promoting jobs and growth; combatting long-term and youth unemployment and social exclusion; promoting R&D and ICT investment and the competitiveness of the business sector; and promoting an environmentally-friendly and resource efficient economy. These are all priorities that are closely aligned with the Government’s overall focus on jobs and growth.”

The programme is expected to:

  • Create 17,000 new jobs in small companies by targeting specific sectors including digital, food and energy
  • Expand high-speed broadband services targeting 164,300 households
  • Improve energy efficiency in housing leading to warmer homes, cheaper energy bills and reduced CO2 emissions
  • Revitalise urban areas, including increased usage of public transport for urban journeys
  • Increase links between SMEs and research centres, improving commercialisation for Irish SMEs

Examples of previous EU funding in Ireland under the 2006-2013 ERDF can be found here:

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