Offaly is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning as a result of Project Ireland 2040, according to Offaly Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy.
Marcella said the plan will support families and strengthen communities in Offaly, and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.
Speaking about Project 2040 which was launched by Government today (Friday), Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said:
“In the first version of Fine Gael’s Republic of Opportunity document, we said it is time to plan for what Ireland is going to look like in 2040."
“This is our plan for the future of Ireland. For the first time in the history of the State, our spatial planning is backed up with solid investment and it will deliver for our citizens."
“The National Planning Framework which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 sets out how Ireland can grow in a sustainable, balanced fashion over the next twenty years. 50% of population growth is planned for our towns, villages and rural communities and 50% for our cities. Project Ireland 2040 is backed and supported up by a €115bn National Development Plan," she continued.
“Our population is expected to have increased to 6 million people by 2040 and, without any State intervention, this will result in ongoing shift in population and jobs towards Dublin and the neighbouring counties. This is not in anyone’s interests."
“I am confident that Project Ireland 2040 will deliver for Offaly and will ensure that the Midland counties with their central and strategic location will attract more investment and jobs to the region. I very much welcome the announcement of a €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. This fund will support investment projects for towns and villages in Offaly with populations of less than 10,000. This significant fund will help nearly every town and village in Offaly here to grow in a sustainable way," Marcella added.
“I strongly welcome the commitment that Tullamore as the County town is being seen as a major asset to drive the implementation of the plan. I am delighted to see that there will be opportunities for Birr and Edenderry and other towns and villages to avail of the various schemes being provided for under Project Ireland 2040."
“It is really welcome to see that the agri-food sector will continue to be major driver for growth here in County Offaly."
“I have always been hugely supportive of the Local Link Programme and I very much welcome the commitment for capital investment for public transport in rural communities. This plan commits to new town bus services in larger rural towns to enable the development and growth of sustainable public transport options for residents and visitors," Marcella explained to the Offaly Express.
“I am thrilled to see a commitment to the delivery of the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan link road. This follows my announcement last month of €25,000 to carry out pre-appraisal works on the project. For some time now I have prioritised the delivery of this key infrastructural project for County Offaly. I am delighted to see a clear commitment in the Project Ireland 2040 plan to the N52 link road."
"Tullamore as the capital town needs the link to the Galway-Dublin motorway as it will greatly enhance Offaly’s ability to develop in the years ahead. This N52 road is a major North/South link and the planned addition of this carriageway will greatly improve the road network for the entire region."
“The allocation of €108 million to Fáilte Ireland for a capital investment programme in Tourism Product Development will greatly assist Offaly to develop its tourism offering over the next four years. I look forward to this additional investment which will help deliver sustainable growth in Offaly’s tourism sector and result in higher revenues and more jobs for the county.
“The commitment to the development of a new 40 bed residential mental health unity at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise will greatly benefit patients across the Midlands.
“The plan builds on the Government’s social housing commitments under the Rebuilding Ireland Plan. Project Ireland 2040 will ensure the delivery of 3,500 new social housing units across the Midlands between the period 2016-2021.
“Offaly is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning thanks to Project Ireland 2040.
“This sustainable planning for Offaly, backed by real investment, will support families and strengthen communities here. With Project Ireland 2040, Fine Gael is ensuring sustainable growth for the future of Offaly. What’s good for Offaly is also good for the surrounding region,” Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said.
“An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion. This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside."
"It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future," he added.
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