National Development Plan Commits €3.5bn Budget for collaborative Cross-Border Investment

Posted on 4 Oct 2021

The Government has announced significant additional funding and an increased level of ambition for collaborative cross-border investment in the Shared Island dimension of the reviewed National Development Plan.

Under the Plan, total all-island investment through the extended Shared Island Fund, the Project Ireland 2040 funds, the Government’s annual funding for North/South cooperation and the PEACE PLUS programme, delivered with the EU, UK and NI Executive, is more than €3.5billion.

The Government’s commitment of €500m to the Shared Island Fund, will be at least doubled out to 2030.

As part of the strategic investment priorities for a Shared Island, the Government will work to develop and deliver joint and coordinated investments with the Northern Ireland Executive, the UK Government, European Union and local authority partners to build a more connected, sustainable and prosperous island, for all communities and traditions.

The National Development Plan also presents significant business and employment opportunities, North and South, given the skills and labour demands generated by the scale of infrastructure, green and digital investment by Government between now and 2030.

Building on the commitments in the ‘New Decade New Approach’ and the Programme for Government, Shared Island investment priorities in the National Development Plan will see Government delivering on project commitments and developing a new generation of cross-border public investments and initiatives. These investment priorities include:

  • The creation of an island-wide greenway network, linking the Atlantic coast with the Eastern seaboard;
  • Enhanced all-island rail connectivity including the introduction of an hourly rail service on the Dublin-Belfast line;
  • Coordinated investment to roll-out Electric Vehicle charging networks across the island;
  • Enhancing support for enterprise development on an all-island basis;
  • Funding for all-island climate actions;
  • Delivery of the €40m North/South Research Programme and creation of new all-island research centres;
  • Further develop third-level education infrastructure in the North West region;
  • Progressing new cross-border built and natural heritage initiatives, including a focus on the culture and heritage of minority communities in the border counties;

Available funding streams for these priorities include the Shared Island Fund; the Project Ireland 2040 funds for rural development, urban regeneration, climate action and innovation; and the PEACE PLUS programme 2021-27, delivered with the Northern Ireland Executive, UK Government and European Union.

To read the full Shared Island chapter in the reviewed National Develpment plan click here.

Further information on the new National Development Plan 2021-2030 is available here.

The three pillars to the Shared Island investment agenda in the National Development Plan are connectivity, sustainability and prosperity. 

The Government will deliver these priorities through all-island partnerships on a North/South and East/West basis working in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Executive, including through the North South Ministerial Council; with the UK Government; European Union, and local authority partners.

Full details 

Shared Island