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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 76-100
 Header Item LEADER Programmes
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Town and Village Renewal Scheme
 Header Item CLÁR Programme
 Header Item Rural Development Plan
 Header Item Local Improvement Scheme
 Header Item Community Development Initiatives
 Header Item National Disability Strategy
 Header Item Rural Development Plan
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item IDA Ireland

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1002 No. 7

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 76-100

LEADER Programmes

 76. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her plans to fund the delivery and administration of the LEADER programme 2021; the interim funding for 2021 to 2023 to be delivered directly by local development companies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41628/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys As the Deputy will be aware, due to delays at EU level, there will be a delay between the end of the current LEADER programme, which was due to conclude at the end of this year, and the next EU programme which will not now commence until 2023. The Programme for Government includes a commitment to introduce a transitional LEADER programme to bridge that gap.

Yesterday, 16th December 2020, I announced details of the Transitional LEADER Programme, which will come into effect from 1st   April 2021 for new project approvals. I also announced some flexibilities to the current LEADER programme, including extending the deadline for commitments to the end of March 2021 to facilitate the full allocation of the funds available.   

  I have provided an initial allocation of €20 million for the Transitional LEADER Programme, which will fund both new project applications and the administration and project animation costs of the Local Action Groups who will deliver the programme.

  In addition, a further €7 million will be provided to the LAGs in 2021 for the on-going management and delivery of projects still running under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme.

  I will review the funding situation for the Transitional Programme when Regulations governing the transitional period are signed at EU level and when there is clarity regarding EU funding for the transitional period.

  In the meantime, my Department has written to all of the Local Action Groups, providing a detailed outline of the Transitional Programme, including their respective financial allocations.

  Further details of the Transitional Programme are included in the announcement on my Department’s pages of the Gov.ie website.

  Question No. 77 answered with Question No. 24.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 78. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the support she is putting in place to help voluntary community groups meet operating costs during the pandemic when their usual means of fundraising cannot take place. [43577/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development (Deputy Joe O'Brien): Information on Joe O'Brien Zoom on Joe O'Brien Through my ongoing engagement with the Community and Voluntary sector, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by the sector and their communities both rural and urban at this time whilst meeting increased demands on many of their services. My Department has put a range of initiatives in place that provide operating supports to the community sector during the pandemic.

A €45 million COVID stability fund   for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Charities and Social Enterprises was launched by Government in May and is administered by my Department through Pobal. This funding is being made available from the Dormant Accounts Fund and was intended to be a targeted once-off cash injection for organisations and groups delivering critical front-line services to the most at need in our society and in danger of imminent closure due to lost fund-raised or traded income as a direct result of restrictions to counter the spread of COVID-19.

  My Department received 1,060 applications during the application periods. To date, funding of €31,370,238 has been allocated to 598 organisations. On 11 December I was pleased to announce a further €13,436,742 top-up has been allocated to 574 of those organisations as a result of the €10m announcement in Budget 2021. Lists of successful applicants are available on my Department’s website at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/3957e-covid-19-stability-fund-successful-applicants/

My Department recently launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund  , which community and voluntary groups can now apply for through their local authorities. This follows on from a previous €2.5m round of this fund which was focussed on groups participating in the Government’s “Community Call” initiative.

My Department currently supports over 420 community organisations under the Community Services Programme (CSP)   to provide local services through a social enterprise model. In response to the difficulties being experienced by organisations due to COVID-19, my Department developed a Support Fund totaling €4.75M which assists all CSP supported organisations to continue to retain their CSP supported employees on their payroll and also provides assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution, during this crisis period up to April 2021.

  Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 21.

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

 80. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the status of the Programme for Government commitment for an expanded town and village renewal scheme to bring vacant and derelict buildings back into use and promote residential occupancy; when communities can start applying for this funding; and the estimated amount available to each local authority. [43579/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Programme for Government includes a commitment for an expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme to bring vacant and derelict buildings back into use and promote residential occupancy. This follows on from the pilot initiative overseen by my Department in 2019 to explore how to encourage increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages.

An independent report on the pilot initiative highlighted the value of developing a shared vision, or masterplan, for individual towns as part of the process to counteract vacancy and dereliction, and to make these town centres more attractive places in which to live.

I have secured an additional €2 million in Budget 2021 as part of the expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme to support the preparation of masterplans that will provide a vision for the strategic development of rural towns and villages. I anticipate that individual plans will include actions tailored to address the vacancy and town centre living issues that are specific to the town in question. This initiative will be progressed in 2021 and further details will be announced at that time.

This action is one element of the Government’s approach to addressing the issue of vacancy and dereliction as part of a new Town Centre First approach to the regeneration of our towns and villages. An Inter-Departmental Group has been established to progress the Town Centre First approach. It will also review other suggested actions in the report on the pilot Town Centre Living initiative.

The Inter-Departmental Group is chaired jointly by my Department and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Group aims to bring forward with proposals for consideration by the Government in the middle of next year.

  Question No. 81 answered with Question No. 69.

CLÁR Programme

 82. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her plans to develop and diversify the CLÁR programme in 2021 which focuses on the areas of highest population decrease since 1926; the measures approved under the CLÁR programme in 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43080/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The CLÁR programme provides funding for small scale projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population. The Measures funded through the 2020 programme placed a focus on helping communities and voluntary groups in CLÁR areas to adjust to the challenges presented by COVID-19. The Measures included in the programme were as follows:

  Measure1:     Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures (including COVID-19 related safety works)

  Measure 2:    Community Recreation Areas (new for 2020)

  Measure 3:    Community Wellbeing Support

  (a) Meals on Wheels and linked services (new in 2020)

  (b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport,

  I have approved funding of almost €5.8 million for 186 projects under these Measures.

  A full review of the CLÁR programme has been initiated by my Department with the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) at Maynooth University. This review is examining the most recent changes in population patterns throughout the country on the basis of 2016 Census data. It is also considering whether any factors other than depopulation should be taken into account in determining CLÁR areas in the future.

  Any potential changes to the current CLÁR areas will be informed by the findings of this review. I expect the review to be fully completed in 2021.

Rural Development Plan

 83. Deputy Cathal Crowe Information on Cathal Crowe Zoom on Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the actions her Department is taking to stymie rural decline in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43813/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department is finalising a new rural development policy for 2021-2025. The new policy will be forward-looking and ambitious and will build on the progress achieved through the Action plan for Rural Development which concluded in 2019. It will seek to strengthen and build resilience in our rural economies and communities nationwide including County Clare and will identify policy measures for delivery in order to achieve these objectives. As was the case with the Action Plan, the new policy will reflect a whole-of-Government commitment to rural Ireland.

  Along with emphasising the interdependence between urban and rural areas, the new policy will recognise how strong rural communities and economies are vital to enhancing our national wellbeing and to realising a sustainable and inclusive recovery in which no one is left behind. This will be achieved through reversing decline in rural areas through targeted investment, incentives and innovation; unlocking the transformational potential of digitalisation and economic diversification; and supporting rural communities in the necessary transitions to achieve climate action targets in a just and equitable manner.

My Department's Community Services Programme   (CSP) supports 11 community organisations in County Clare to provide local services through a social enterprise model. CSP funding of some €1.1m is provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of supporting 48 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and 7 managers. As a result of COVID-19 my Department also developed a €4.75m Support Fund to assist CSP supported organisations most in need, to retain their CSP supported employees on their payroll and also provides assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution, during this crisis period and until April 2021. To date, ten of the CSP supported services in County Clare have been approved funding of some €130k under the CSP Support Fund.

 The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund   seeks to support large-scale, ambitious projects which can achieve sustainable economic and social development in rural areas.

  Nine projects located in Clare have been approved for funding of €9.2m to deliver projects worth a total of €12.2m.

  The projects completed with the assistance of the Fund will deliver significant impacts across the county, supporting sustainable communities, economic development and job creation for example the Ennistymon Digital Hub and Multi Service Centre.

  This project was approved for funding of €1,024,000 under the first call under the Fund. The completed centre is designed to enhance job creation and retention and deliver community and family resource services within the community.    

  The third call for Category 1 applications closed in early December. This call will support ambitious strategic projects that have the capacity to assist rural areas to recover and prosper into the future. I look forward to announcing the successful projects in early 2021.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme   is one of a number of measures designed to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland under my Department's “Rural Development Investment Programme”. Projects funded under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme aim to make small rural towns and villages more attractive places in which to live, work and visit.

  The Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched in 2016 and since funding of €3.26 million has been approved for 40 projects in Co Clare. A wide variety of projects have been approved for funding in Co Clare including public realm works, digital, training and remote working hubs etc.

The Local Improvement Scheme,   or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities.

  Since the LIS was re-launched in 2017, over €58 million has been allocated to Local Authorities for improvements to qualifying roads under the scheme.

  An allocation of €480,811 was made available for 2020 for the Local Improvement Scheme in County Clare. Since the scheme was re-launched in 2017, over €2.8 million has been allocated to County Clare under the Scheme.

The CLÁR programme   provides funding for small scale projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population. This year it included funding for Schools/Community Safety Measures and   Community Recreation Areas. Co. Clare received funding of over €330,000 for 9 projects under CLÁR 2020. County Clare has received almost €1.7million in funding under the CLÁR programme since it’s re-launch in 2016.

  My Department has continued to engage proactively with its stakeholders during the COVID-19 crisis through various on line means. This engagement has helped deliver solutions including additional funding to address challenges being faced by those in communities and their representative groups at this time, and I look forward to continuing these interactions moving forward.

Local Improvement Scheme

 84. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan Information on Pádraig O'Sullivan Zoom on Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if consideration will be given to extending the local improvement scheme for the new areas of Cork city which were areas of Cork County and should not be disadvantaged as a result of boundary changes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43591/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities. It is a matter for each Local Authority to determine the roads for inclusion in the LIS in any given year, from within the allocation provided to it by my Department.

Since the LIS was re-launched in 2017, over €58 million has been allocated to 25 Local Authorities for improvements to qualifying roads under the scheme.

Local Authorities in Dublin and the City Councils in Cork and Galway have not been eligible for funding under the scheme. This is due to the nature of the scheme, which provides funding for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas and is typically linked to access to agricultural land. I have no plans at present to broaden access to the scheme to the City Councils.

However, given the particular circumstances of the recent boundary changes in Cork, if both Local Authorities in the county were agreeable to including areas affected by the boundary change in the scheme for Cork next year, it is open to them to submit a joint proposal to my Department for consideration.

Any such proposal would need to be made in the context the allocation being provided to the county as a whole, and without any additional funding requirement from my Department. Roads selected for inclusion in the scheme would, of course, have to meet the criteria for the scheme.

I will announce details of the county allocations under the LIS when the scheme is launched next year.

Community Development Initiatives

 85. Deputy Paul McAuliffe Information on Paul  McAuliffe Zoom on Paul  McAuliffe asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her progress to date in introducing on a phased basis a number of projects similar in approach to community development projects as outlined in the Programme for Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43932/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development (Deputy Joe O'Brien): Information on Joe O'Brien Zoom on Joe O'Brien The Community Development Programme (CDP) was established in 1990. It sought to challenge the underlying causes of disadvantage resulting from the effects of poverty and exclusion.

  Up to 200 Projects and organisations were funded under the Programme. These projects had an anti-poverty, anti-exclusion focus and were managed by a voluntary board of management drawn from the local community.

Further to a process of cohesion in 2009, implementation of the programme required the projects funded under the CDP   to be integrated with Local Development Companies, with some exceptions.

  In respect of the Programme for Partnership Government commitment to introduce a number of projects similar in approach to community development projects, officials in my Department are currently scoping a proposal which would support a small number of existing independent community development organisations to work with marginalised communities and support flexible and innovative community work initiatives.

  Additional funding of €1m has been received in budget 2021 to support this proposal.

National Disability Strategy

 86. Deputy Pauline Tully Information on Pauline  Tully Zoom on Pauline  Tully asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the steps she has taken to implement action 128 of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43213/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Action 128 of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy refers to the commitment to “develop initiatives to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities living in rural areas, including through remote working options”.

My Department is currently finalising a new and ambitious rural development policy for 2021-2025. This new Policy will include measures to address issues that matter to people in rural Ireland, and will promote an inclusive society where no one is left behind. Maximising the availability and accessibility of meaningful employment options in rural areas is one of the policy’s central priorities. Furthermore, the new rural development policy aligns with the Programme for Government and other Government strategies to deliver on government commitments to support people with disabilities.

The new policy places a particular emphasis on the potential of remote working to deliver transformational change for people living in rural areas. Backed by the rollout of the National Broadband Plan and supported by an integrated infrastructure of remote working hubs across the country, remote working can enable more equal access to digital services and increased employment opportunities for all. The policy also supports the further enhancing of accessible public transport services in rural areas, which can further assist people with disabilities by providing greater connectivity and an increase in local and regional employment opportunities.

Separately, through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme my Department provides funding to Local Development Companies (LDCs) to carry out work with disadvantaged individuals and the groups that support them. Persons with a disability are included as a target group under the programme. From January 2018 to June 2020, LDCs provided information about lifelong learning opportunities to over 800 individuals with disabilities that lived in rural areas, information regarding labour market supports to over 500, and self-employment supports to over 200. Of the persons receiving support, 983 participated in a lifelong learning activity, 86 progressed into employment and 69 progressed into self-employment. This type of support will continue over the lifetime of the programme, which runs from 2018 to 2022.

Rural Development Plan

 87. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the status of the development of the new rural policy; when she expects the policy to be finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43330/20]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department is currently finalising a new rural development policy for the coming five years. The new policy will be forward-looking and ambitious and will build on the progress achieved through the Action plan for Rural Development which concluded in 2019.

The policy will seek to strengthen and build resilience in our rural economies and communities and will identify policy measures for delivery in order to achieve these objectives.  As was the case with the Action Plan, the new policy will reflect a whole-of-Government commitment to rural Ireland.

The process of developing the policy has included a wide range of consultation events with key stakeholders, including Government Departments, State agencies, rural stakeholder groups, young people, and the wider public. The insights and views captured through this extensive consultation process helped to identify the issues that matter most to people living and working in rural Ireland.

In addition, my Department held a series of further discussions with key stakeholders, and a public webinar in September, to explore the short and longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural communities and economies and to identify actions required to assist rural areas to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The inputs from these consultations are being factored in to the drafting of the policy and I hope to be in a position to bring the final policy to Government for approval early in the new year, prior to its publication.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 88. Deputy Martin Browne Information on Martin Browne Zoom on Martin Browne asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her views on the way in which the operators of community services centres are facing considerable fees for water at a time when their ability to generate income has been limited; if she will consider addressing the issue; her further views on the supports that are needed for community councils and organisations given the impact of Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43335/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development (Deputy Joe O'Brien): Information on Joe O'Brien Zoom on Joe O'Brien While community facilities are funded from a range of different sources across different Government Departments and agencies, some examples of the supports provided by my Department to community organisations include a €45 million support package for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Charities and Social Enterprises. This funding is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund, set aside to support initiatives benefiting the most disadvantaged. Eligible centres are receiving funding under this package.

In addition, the 2020 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP)   with funding of €2m providing small capital grants to community organisations was launched in June. Separately, under the July stimulus package my Department launched a €5m fund for repairs or upgrades to community centres and community buildings. While it is now closed for 2020, it is hoped to run the CEP again in 2021.

More recently my Department launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund  , which community and voluntary groups can apply for by contacting the Local Community Development Committee in their area. This follows on from a previous €2.5m round of this fund.

My Department's Community Services Programme (CSP)   supports over 420 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. In response to the difficulties faced by organisations as a result of COVID-19, my Department developed a €4.75m Support Fund to assist CSP supported organisations to retain their CSP supported employees on their payroll and also to provide assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution, during this crisis period and until April 2021.

The Rural Development Investment Programme   is being tailored to address the emerging challenges associated with COVID-19. This includes schemes such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme through which improvements to community centres have been funded in the past.

  Some of these scheme have closed for 2020, and I would encourage all groups to engage with their Local Authority and Local Development Company so that they are aware of funding opportunities as they become available in 2021.

  The specific matter of water fees falls under the remit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 89. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh Information on Rose Conway-Walsh Zoom on Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the supports in place for community halls and centres nationwide that have lost the ability to generate revenue during Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43785/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development (Deputy Joe O'Brien): Information on Joe O'Brien Zoom on Joe O'Brien Community facilities such as community halls are funded from a range of different sources across different Government Departments and agencies. Some of the supports provided by my Department towards community facilities are outlined below.

My Department's Community Services Programme (CSP)   supports over 420 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. CSP funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of an agreed number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and a manager, where warranted. In response to the difficulties faced by organisations due to COVID-19, my Department developed a €4.75m Support Fund to assist CSP supported organisations to retain their CSP supported employees on their payroll and also to provide assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution during this crisis period and until April 2021.

A €45 million support package   for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Charities and Social Enterprises was launched by Government and is administered by my Department. This funding is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is specifically set aside to support initiatives, which will benefit the most disadvantaged groups in society. Eligible centres are receiving funding under this package.

The 2020 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP)   with funding of €2m providing small capital grants to community organisations was launched in June. Separately, under the July stimulus package my Department launched a €5m fund for repairs or upgrades to community centres and community buildings. While it is now closed for 2020, it is hoped to run the CEP again in 2021.

More recently my Department launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund  , which local community and voluntary groups can apply for by contacting the Local Community Development Committee in their area. This follows on from a previous €2.5m round of this fund.

The Rural Development Investment Programme   is being tailored to address the emerging challenges associated with COVID-19.   This includes schemes such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme through which improvements to community centres have been funded in the past. The closing date for applications under the 2020 Town and Village Renewal Scheme has passed, however a further round of the Scheme will operate in 2021. Full details of the 2021 Scheme will issue to all Local Authorities when finalised.   

  My Department will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, including the Community and Voluntary sector, Local Authorities and Local Development Companies, to support community organisations across the country as they deal with the ongoing and emerging challenges presented by COVID-19.   I would encourage all groups to engage with their Local Authority and Local Development Company so that they are aware of funding opportunities as they become available.

  Questions Nos. 90 to 95, inclusive, answered orally.

IDA Ireland

 96. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the IDA will consider the feasibility of Clare Technology Park , Gort Road, Ennis, County Clare as a location in the next phase of planning and development of technological buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39254/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Robert Troy): Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy My priority is to lead our country through the economic crisis that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. My Department, and the enterprise agencies under my remit, are doing everything possible to sustain businesses and get our people safely back to work in all parts of our country.

In recent years, Clare has witnessed a significant improvement in terms of attracting FDI with a 15% increase in employment in overseas companies since 2012. This has added almost 1,000 net new jobs during this period. There are now over 7,100 people employed across 67 multinational companies in Clare with over 220 net new jobs added in 2019. There have been investments of scale in the technology, med tech and pharma sectors, from companies like Beckman Coulter, Edwards Lifesciences, Extreme Networks, Jaguar Land Rover and in recent months Exida and MeiraGTx.

The Mid-West region is supported by the IDA with the provision of Advance Building Solutions which assist employment in the surrounding areas. IDA actively engages with Clare County Council, Shannon Commercial Properties and other property owners and stakeholders on their development plans, and markets sites and property solutions across the Mid-West region including Ennis through its extensive overseas network to both existing and new investors.

The IDA’s property budget for 2021 will continue to fund the IDA Regional Property Programme. This will help ensure that property solutions are in place for overseas companies considering investing or expanding outside of Dublin, thereby helping to attract more overseas firms to the regions. The IDA’s 2021 allocation includes an additional €10m over 2020 funding for the Regional Property Programme, bringing it up to €52m.

The Clare region is well positioned to continue to attract new FDI investment and grow employment in existing companies and IDA Ireland will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders and parties in the region to achieve this objective under the Regional Enterprise Action Plan 2020. The Clare Technology Park, Gort Road, Ennis is not currently under consideration by IDA as a site for an Advanced Building Solution.

  Questions Nos. 97 to 100, inclusive, answered orally.


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