The Plan, which includes an investment package of 165 billion euros, focuses on priority solutions to strengthen housing, climate ambitions, transport, health, employment in the regions and economic renewal for the decade to come.
“Ireland will be home to at least one million more people over the next 20 years,” commented Caroline Spillane, CEO of Engineers Ireland. “Our institution has long campaigned for more strategic and targeted investments in infrastructure and technology. Correctly targeted investments underpin social cohesion by providing vital facilities to citizens. We are pleased to see the government reaffirm its commitment to capital investment with a total public investment of 165 billion euros over the period 2021-2030 detailed in today’s report. This investment, which will bring public investment to 5% of GNI *, will have a transformative impact on economic development, regional growth, employment opportunities and the achievement of our climate ambitions and objectives.
In addition to physical infrastructure, an important part of the planned investment in the NDP will support business development, research, innovation and science. As an advocate for STEM education in schools, the trade association welcomed the development of ambitious digitization strategies, including the Digital Strategy for Schools, which aims to further integrate teaching, learning and the assessment of digital technologies in primary and post-primary schools. Ms Spillane noted that this “capital investment in connectivity and equipment, as well as teacher development, will be critical to the integration of digital technologies in education in all classrooms, thus improving knowledge of STEM career paths and supporting our future pipeline of engineering talent ”.
The infrastructure projects hosted today by the professional body include:
- The € 360 million funding commitment for the development of walking and cycling infrastructure across Ireland, including towns and villages as well as rural greenways.
- Completion of investments at Port of Dublin, Port of Cork and Port of Shannon Foynes, in addition to the completion of the new parallel runway for Dublin Airport.
- Reinforced program for the renovation of 500,000 homes in BER B2 and installation of 600,000 heat pumps, including 400,000 in existing homes by 2030.
- EirGrid’s Celtic Interconnector project between Ireland and France, which includes fiber telecommunications cable.
- The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the National Broadband Plan.
- Housing, including an average of 10,000 new social housing units and 6,000 affordable housing units each year.
- Protection and renewal of national roads.
- Water and wastewater infrastructure projects including the East and Midlands Water Supply Project, Greater Dublin Drainage Project.
The investment in the new multi-campus technological universities, which will strengthen their role as an anchor for the company by helping to attract and retain talent in the regions, has also been welcomed by the professional body.