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Sunday 21 October 2018

The run-through: what you need to know about the Project Ireland 2040 plan

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ministers at the launch of the plan in Sligo IT. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ministers at the launch of the plan in Sligo IT. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

What will our country be like in 20 years' time?

Project Ireland 2040 aims to set out how Ireland will develop as the population grows by one million people over the next two decades.

Planning for the future, it envisages the building of 500,000 new homes; a €2bn urban regeneration fund for the country's five main cities; three new hospitals to tackle waiting lists; a series of road upgrades and €22bn for climate change initiatives.

The plan is accompanied by a commitment to invest €116bn spending over the next 10 years.

Project Ireland 2040 joins up the National Planning Framework to 2040 with the National Development Plan 2018 to 2027. Basically, this links the plan on how the country will grow and develop with the necessary funding for infrastructure and services.

The plan covers a vast range of areas from transport to health, rural regeneration to culture, childcare to housing.

The plan includes a €1bn fund for regeneration of towns and villages with a population of fewer than 10,000 people.

A number of towns get special status as regional hubs in the plan, including Athlone, Sligo and Letterkenny. And €4.5bn has been allocated for regional and local roads.

To tackle the traffic and housing crises, the plan envisages building up rather than out in our cities.

The plan says Dublin should grow primarily within the M50 and as much as possible within the canals. A new Metro will connect the city centre with Dublin Airport. Four new Luas lines will serve the commuter belt of the city.

Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are listed as primary cities in the report. Among the proposals for Cork is a light rail system and a redevelopment of the docklands. Galway city centre will benefit from part of a regeneration fund worth €2bn.

Limerick will be connected to Cork by the M20 motorway. And Waterford's North Quays are to get significant investment. Each of these cities will see their population grow by up to 50pc over the next two decades.

Three new hospitals for elective surgeries are to be built in Dublin, Cork and Galway to deal with the public waiting lists. The ambulance fleet is to be upgraded and new bases established in Ardee, Mullingar, Limerick, Cork and Galway. The refurbishment of 90 State nursing homes is planned.

A new body known as the National Regeneration and Development Agency will be responsible for building on State-owned lands.

Project Ireland 2040 was launched by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Sligo last week.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Varadkar said it was time to "turn back on" the projects that had to be shelved during the economic downturn.

Mr Varadkar said it marked "a significant milestone in our country's development, the point at which we put the lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion".

To find out more and view the plan in full go to:

http://www.gov.ie/en/project-ireland-2040

For more information on Project Ireland 2040 visit the official website 

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