The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, has today (27 July 2022) secured government approval for Ireland’s 2 draft ERDF Programmes for the period 2021 – 2027. The 2 ERDF Programmes set out Ireland’s investment strategy for a fund totalling €853 million, of which €396 million is financed by the EU. The ERDF supports Irish regions in promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in line with key EU priorities. A ministerial decision on 22 October 2020 appointed the Regional Assemblies to act as Managing Authorities for the ERDF Programmes for the 2021 – 2027 programming period.
Following approval by the government, the draft ERDF Programmes will now be formally submitted to the EU Commission for its review and final negotiations. Commission approval and adoption of the Programmes is anticipated before the end of the year.
The Regional programmes will focus investment on the following key strategic outcomes:
1. Developing Smarter More Competitive Regions by building RD&I capacity within the public research institutions in our regions, by accelerating the translation of cutting-edge research into commercial applications at a regional level, by supporting innovation diffusion and by strengthening regional innovation ecosystems in line with Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and the Regional Enterprise Plans.
2. Creating Greener More Energy Efficient Regions and a Just Transition by focusing on scaling up investment in actions that improve the energy efficiency of residential homes while targeting homeowners in, or at risk of, energy poverty.
3. Supporting Sustainable Urban Development in our Regions by taking an integrated strategic approach to the regeneration of our towns using a Town Centres First Framework.
Commenting on the agreement of the ERDF Programmes, Minister McGrath said:
“The approval of the ERDF Programmes by Government is a key milestone in securing €396 million in EU funding. When national match funding is included, it will allow for ERDF investment of €853 million in Ireland’s regions out to 2027. I look forward to finalising negotiations with the European Commission on the ERDF Programmes over the coming months.
“For this new programming period, our ERDF programmes will contribute to 3 strategic outcomes. The first is the focus on developing smarter more competitive regions through measures like building RD&I capacity in public research institutions and by strengthening regional innovation. Second, it will also support actions to scale up energy efficiency measures for those in energy poverty. Finally, it will support the sustainable regeneration of towns and urban centres throughout the country.”