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Ireland 'could benefit' from €50billion EU fund

The huge investment in infrastructure could boost Irish construction companies.

Broadband services would be among those to benefit from the fund
Broadband services would be among those to benefit from the fund
Image: seeweb via Flickr

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has announced plans to invest €50billion in infrastructure over the next nine years, in a move which it’s hoped could boost Irish business.

Under the funding initiative, almost €32billion would be ploughed into transport links between European countries, with another €9billion to help connect energy grids across national borders. The EU said this would help create more secure energy supplies.

There would also be another €9billion investment in high-speed digital networks, including broadband services and international links.

This could help attract up to €50billion of extra funding from private investors, according to the EU, which said the financial crisis has hit money supplies for infrastructure.

The proposals have been hailed by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, which said they could provide a “welcome boost” to the Irish construction industry.

John Curtin, the society’s president, said: “It could provide funding for infrastructural projects in Ireland in the areas of high speed broadband provision, transport networks and renewable energy.”

He added that these improvements would “improve our competitiveness, provide enhanced services for consumers and businesses and would be a welcome boost for the Irish construction sector which still employs over 100,000 people.”

The fund must be approved by the European Parliament and national governments before it can be rolled out, beginning in 2014.

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Michael Freeman

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