Key features outlined for Project Ireland 2040

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Some of the key features of Project Ireland 2040 the €116 billion plan for Ireland launched this morning at the Institute of Technology Sligo include substanttial investment in schools, climate change, roads, hospital beds and health services, homes and public transport.

Key points outlined include:
· €8.4 billion investment in primary and post primary schools, 50 large scale school projects annually with an additional 15,000 schools places annually;
· 2,600 extra acute hospital beds and three new dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Galway to specifically tackle waiting lists;
· Extra primary care centres and more residential accommodation for mental health services and people with disabilities;
· €7.3 billion for regional road accessibility investing in national roads across Ireland, plus €4.5 billion for regional and local, improving links to the north west and across the country;
· Building at least 25,000 homes a year by 2020, rising to 30-35,000 annually up to 2027;
· Providing social housing for 112,000 households over the next decade;
· Developing the Atlantic Corridor high-quality road network linking Cork, Limerick, Galway and Sligo;
· €2.2 billion investment in higher education infrastructure, including Public Private Partnership investment in 11 Institutes of Technology;
· Significant investment in bus and rail fleets, overhauling bus networks through the BusConnects programme in our cities, and transitioning to low emission buses;
· Investment in our airports and ports, including a second runway for Dublin Airport, a Regional Airports Programme and dedicated investment in Dublin, Cork and Shannon Foynes Port;
· A major investment programme in cultural institutions, regional arts centres, national parks and sports capital programme;
· Vacant or under-used land in villages, towns and cities will be put into use through a National Regeneration and Development Agency;
· Short-term delivery of the National Broadband Strategy ensuring coverage in villages, rural areas and islands;
· Develop the Metro Link in Dublin, expand DART to Drogheda, Celbridge, Maynooth and Greystones, and planning for the expansion of Luas;
· New segregated cycling and walking facilities and networks, especially in cities and towns;
· Bring unemployment rates in all regions down to within 1% of the national average;
· Ongoing focus on Foreign Direct Investment but giving equal priority to a local enterprise economy and setting up an Advanced Manufacturing Centre;
· Expanding the IDA Regional Property Programme;
· A particular focus on cooperation and joint development of border areas that open up potential for an all-island economy;
· A new runway for Dublin Airport, investment in Cork, Shannon Airports, and Ireland West Airport Knock, and for smaller airports;
· Major development of Dublin, Cork, Shannon-Foynes and other Ports,
· Upgrading energy insulation in 45,000 homes per annum from 2021;
· Significant investment in national cultural institutions.