Mr Eoghan Murphy T.D. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today announced details of a €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).
As a key part of Project Ireland 2040 - the Government’s National Planning Framework and National Development Plan - the fund is intended to drive regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and underutilised areas within Ireland’s five cities, key regional drivers and other large towns.
The fund is one of four such funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) has responsibility for implementing the fund, which has €100m available for expenditure in 2019 and an overall allocation of €550 million allocated to the fund up to the end of 2022.
The fund will operate on a competitive, bid-based Exchequer grant basis, with proposals being required to demonstrate that they will be:
In announcing the call for proposals under the URDF at today’s Third Housing Summit with Local Authority Chief Executives, Minister Murphy has urged eligible applicants to avail of the opportunity through collaboration and making best use of the skills and talent available to design creative and innovative proposals.
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is being established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.
This is to enable a greater proportion of housing and commercial development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and to ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places where people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.
Types of projects eligible for funding will include, but are not limited to the acquisition, enabling and/or development of areas, sites and buildings, relocation of uses, public amenity works, community facilities, and infrastructure related to housing, economic or skills development (including enterprise and tourism), transport, services infrastructure and/or transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society, in an urban context.
Types of areas eligible for funding may include those that include a concentration of low-intensity uses, such as storage depots or warehousing, underutilised ‘backlands’ behind streets and buildings, or institutional sites that are suitable for re-development, as part of an overall regeneration proposal.
The fund will operate on the basis of a scheme that will invite competitive bids from public bodies, which may be in the form of a consortium and may also include private sector and/or community/voluntary sector representation.
Bid proposals must be co-funded and will require a minimum 25% stakeholder contribution. Bids must also demonstrate a further requirement for 100% (euro-for-euro) leveraging of committed wider private sector investment (i.e. development) arising from fund expenditure.
The initial call for bids will invite proposals to be submitted under one of two categories as either:-
A) ‘Ready-to-go’ proposals that can be initiated in 2019 (consents, design etc. advanced or in place, therefore procurement ready), or
B) Proposals that require further development and, subject to this, may be initiated in 2019 or in subsequent years.
Category B proposals that require further development may be approved in principle for technical assistance, in order to create a pipeline of future projects.
Bids will be assessed by an expert evaluation panel that will make recommendations to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. Key assessment criteria will include:
• Relevance to Compact Growth and other National Strategic Outcomes (NSOs) in the NPF and NDP;
• Other funding leveraged;
• The extent of collaboration;
• Whether proposals are integrated to deliver sustainable development; and
• Potential to achieve transformational, place-based change.
Bids for funding must be led by a public body, which may be a local authority or regional assembly, government department or agency, state-sponsored body, higher education institute or Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) development agency. Collaborative bids from consortia will be encouraged and may also include private and or community/voluntary sector representation.
The value of the fund is €2 Billion for the ten-year duration of the National Development Plan (NDP) to 2027, with €550 million allocated in the NDP to 2022 and €100 million available for expenditure in 2019.
The fund will be open for calls for proposals from the end of June, and close by the end of September. The duration of this period is to enable the formation of consortia and the preparation of bid proposals. There will be further calls subsequently, with the next call likely during mid-2019.
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