Project Ireland 2040, as launched by the Government in February 2018, is the overarching policy and planning framework for the social, economic and cultural development of Ireland. It includes a detailed capital investment plan for the period 2018 to 2027, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027, and the 20-year National Planning Framework (NPF).
The NPF sets a new long-term strategic planning and investment context for Ireland over the next 20 years, outlining at high-level a national vision for Ireland to 2040, which will establish the principles to manage future population and economic growth, catering for 1 million extra people, 600,000 extra jobs and over 500,000 extra homes. As part of this, the future housing needs of our growing population are of course among the key issues that will be addressed through the NPF.
The NDP established four new funds, with a combined allocation of €4 billion to 2027. The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), which is the fund operated by my Department, was launched last year and has an overall provision of €2 billion to 2027. €58m is available in 2019 to provide initial support to the 88 projects announced last November on foot of the first call for proposals. €550 million is included in the NDP to provide further support for these and other similar projects up to 2022.
The URDF was established to support applicant led projects that will contribute to regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the NPF and the NDP. The aim is to achieve more compact, sustainable and mixed use development, with a view to ensuring that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit. This will be done by supporting proposals that contribute to the re-development of key brownfield areas both by enabling infrastructure and new master-planned development proposals.
While the URDF is not intended to provide direct support for particular housing projects, some of the projects it is currently supporting will enable a significant proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund falls within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development.