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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Shutterstock/Andriy Tabachuk Cork may benefit from a light rail corridor and regeneration of sites in the city.
# Project Ireland 2040
Luas extensions, light rail to Cork and high-density housing: Project Ireland 2040 has high hopes
Full details on the projects which will go ahead in the next 10 years will be revealed later today.

IRELAND’S POPULATION IS projected to expand by a million people by 2040 – and today the government will reveal the cross-departmental plans they have created to meet that growth.

Ahead of the official launch in Sligo this afternoon, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told assembled press that the plans will “make up for a lost decade” of austerity.

While the full scope of what Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his officials have titled Project Ireland 2040 will be revealed at 2pm, we know that there are plans to:

  • Pump €1bn into a rural redevelopment fund (in addition to the existing schemes such as LEADER and the town and village renewal scheme)
  • Increase the number of acute hospital beds, new elective surgery facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway and add to community nursing care places
  • Ramp up development of brownfield sites within urban areas to provide more scope for development in high-density areas
  • Create around 20,000 school places and add €2bn in funding to the country’s universities, as well as investment in institutes of technology
  • Assign €22bn to climate action measures including transitioning public transport to an electric fleet, approaching carbon neutrality for agriculture and increasing energy efficiency in private and public buildings over time
  • Look at expanding Luas lines to Bray, Finglas, Lucan and Poolbeg
  • A possible light rail corridor to Cork
  • Deliver on the M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick and develop an ‘Atlantic Corridor’ in the North
  • A new €500 million Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund for businesses as one of several measure to ‘Brexit-proof’ the economy

There will be further commitments to projects already previously announced in the lifetime of this government including the move of the National Maternity Hospital to the grounds of St Vincent’s, the National Children’s Hospital and the Metro North airport link.

Also revealed today will be a more detailed costing of those projects being earmarked for completion within the next 10 years, spanning 2018 to 2027.

Speaking this morning about the €116bn development plan, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that measures are being taken to buffer Project Ireland 2040 from future political turmoil. He told RTÉ Radio One’s Sean O’Rourke:

What we are doing today hasn’t been done before. We are putting a plan in law that will be the basis for all future plans. We’re also setting up an independent regulator, to be independent of Government politicians to make sure that we adhere to that plan, and crucially, again for the first time, the investment will follow the plan. understands that while there have been price tags attached to the various projects, those which are not yet underway will all still be subject to a cost appraisal process which might lead to approval or modification of plans as necessary.

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