I am happy to be able to provide more detail on how the €169 EUJT fund (EU Just Transition Fund) is to be allocated in the Just Transition territory which includes Laois and Offaly.
As this is a large amount of potential funding for the region, up to €169m, I believe that transparency and advance notice on how it will be allocated is vital. I also hope to help maximise Laois and Offaly communities accessing it for innovative projects. I am pleased to share further detail received in recent days.
Local Economic and Community Plan Tranche: For enterprise development, job creation and renewable energy, €29m will be allocated under 3 strands as follows:
Local Authority Projects, measures in line with the Local Economic and Community Plans, indicative budget of €15m across the region
Flagship Projects: It is anticipated that there will be 2 or 3 of these across the region, indicative budget of €9m. Funding for what are termed ‘Regional Transformative Projects’ with expressions of interest expected to be invited in June.
Community Grant Scheme: Indicative budget of €5m with anticipated grant values of between €50,000 and €200,000 per project.
Both Strand 2 and 3 will be open calls for applications. Projects to be funded will be prioritised for Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs), organisations and communities who offer employment creation and diversification of the local economy. Pobal will administer this element of the EU Just Transition Fund.
Many communities have experience of working with Pobal and I welcome this news.
Examples of projects that will be considered for funding include energy projects from renewable energy to energy efficiency and reducing energy poverty using new technologies. As we move to more circular way of viewing the use of precious resources, I welcome that waste reduction and prevention, reuse and repair are also listed as examples of projects that would be funded.
This detail adds to the knowledge that €68m of the EU JT fund has been allocated to Failte Ireland for a comprehensive and exciting Regenerative Tourism Plan. I wrote to EMRA, the body with overall responsibility for the fund, some time ago asking for public information sessions as soon as possible and I will continue to push for these and also share the information as it becomes available to me. In the meantime I encourage individuals, SMEs and communities to plan out potential projects. If they are sustainable and create employment; we need them.