Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Fine Gael Chairman Martin Heydon has said Project Ireland 2040 will bring real investment to Kildare which will support families and strengthen communities.

Speaking about Project 2040 which was launched by Government today (Friday), Deputy Heydon said:

“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 by a €115bn National Development Plan which includes projects of interest to Kildare residents.

“For Co. Kildare the plan provides for the development of a new acute mental health unit at Naas Hospital as well as approving funding for the long awaited Endoscopy Unit and associated works.

“I have been pushing for funding for these much needed improvements at Naas Hospital with Health Ministers for over 3 years.  Both Minister Simon Harris and Minister with responsibility for mental health Jim Daly visited Nass Hospital recently to see at first hand the need for these services.

The development of the Endoscopy Unit will bring the day ward up to 25 beds and will position Naas Hospital as a key player in the provision of endoscopy services within the Dublin Midland Hospital Group.

“Athy’s Southern Distributor Route remains a priority in the plan as committed to by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he visited Athy last November.

“The recently commenced M7 road widening and Sallins by pass are also included as major projects to benefit Kildare citizens in the years ahead.

“An €8.4bn allocation to a schools building programme from 2018 – 2027 will allow for refurbishment and upgrade of the existing school stock to deliver an annual average of 20,000 permanent school places and to support the reform and modernisation of school curricula.  I will be fighting for increased provision of spaces at secondary level in particular in the South Kildare area.

“Kildare sports clubs will be glad to hear of a commitment of over €100 million in capital funding to be allocated to the Sport Capital Programme (SCP) for the coming four years.

“I will be pushing for Kildare St Conleth’s Park to benefit from a new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund of €100m which is established for larger sports projects where the proposed Government contribution exceeds amounts available under the Sports Capital Programme.

“The plan contains includes many other provisions under rural regeneration and development which can benefit many communities in Co. Kildare as we continue to grow and develop our rural towns and villages.

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.”


Summary of Kildare Projects included in the Plan include the following:

M7 Naas to Newbridge bypass widening

This scheme involves the widening of 13km of the M7 to three lanes in both directions from its interchange with the M7/M9 (Waterford) to Johnstown. The scheme will enhance capacity, delivering safety, economic and environmental benefits. The contract was awarded in October 2017 and the scheme is under construction.

Sallins bypass

The Sallins Bypass in County Kildare is being delivered in conjunction with the M7 widening project described above.  The route will be located to the west of Sallins and will provide a critical link from the M7 Motorway Network at Osberstown to the Regional and Local road network North of Sallins village, alleviating congestion and improving connectivity and enhancing economic development.

Athy Southern Distributor Road

This project will alleviate congestion, improve safety, improve connectivity to the rail network for all users and eliminate reliance of a single crossing of the River Barrow.  The project secured planning approval in 2017 is committed to funding to completion.

Dart expansion

Under the Dart Expansion Progamme, a series of projects will work to create a full, connected metropolitan area DART network for Dublin. While initial investment will focus on on delivery of non-underground tunnel elements of the programme using the recently opened rail link and existing connector tunnel under the Phoenix Park, next steps will involve providing fast, high-frequency electrified services to Drogheda on the Northern Line, Celbridge/Hazelhatch on the Kildare Line, Maynooth and M3 Parkway on the Maynooth/Sligo Line.

Naas General Hospital

Naas General Hospital will be developed to provide for a new acute mental health unit and a new endoscopy unit.

School Buildings

Primary and Post-Primary School Buildings: €8.4 billion

Schools building programme and refurbishment and upgrade of the existing school stock to deliver an annual average of 20,000 permanent school places and to support the reform and modernisation of school curricula (for example, STEM, Physical Education (PE)):

• a school laboratory and PE hall build and modernisation programme;

• deep energy retrofit programme for pre2008 schools; and

• prefab replacement programme from 2019.

Funding for Greenways up to 2028 based on Greenways Strategy

Greenways can have a significant impact on the area in which they are located through increased tourism and local business opportunities.

Completion of the Kildare and Meath sections of the Galway to Dublin Greenway in 2018/ 2019 will deliver a Greenway from Maynooth to Athlone or Ballymahon, Co Longford. A funding call will be announced later in the year with decisions on the award of which Greenway proposals will be awarded funding before year end.

Greater Dublin Drainage Project

Develop a new regional wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure to serve the growing population of Dublin and parts of the surrounding counties of Kildare and Meath.

Rural Regeneration and Development

Investment projects in towns and villages of less than 10,000 in Kildare will be in a position to benefit from a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will invest €1bn in promoting rural renewal, to help towns, villages and rural areas to grow in a sustainable way.

Investment in Health Services

The region will benefit from major investment in hospitals and acute services. Planned Acute Hospital developments include Naas endoscopy suite.

Project Ireland 2040 for Ireland’s East Region

Project Ireland 2040 seeks to enhance regional connectivity and competitiveness, improve environmental sustainability and build a fairer, more equal Ireland where everyone has the opportunity to live in a strong community and reach their full potential.

Project Ireland 2040 will put a much greater emphasis on developing Dublin and its wider neighbouring counties of Meath, Wicklow and Kildare as integrated, well-planned networks, comprising of the city and connected towns and associated rural coastal, upland and agricultural areas.

There will be a major emphasis on large scale regeneration, accelerated and targeted housing growth, integrated public transport network development, enhancing international airport and port connections and providing long term solutions to water needs. The wider counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow and their networks of strong market and county towns are also a major asset to build on, securing more jobs centred on additional housing investment and development.

For the region this includes:

The acceleration of the National Broadband Plan ensuring coverage in villages and rural areas.

For social housing, the target across the 2016-2021 period is to deliver approximately 26,120 additional social homes under this programme across this region. Over two thirds of this will be through new build and a healthy pipeline of activity is already in place with around 5,000 units completed, on site or progressing through approval stages. For more information, please visit the Rebuilding Ireland website news/quarter-3-social-housing- construction-status-report/

Investment in schools includes a nation-wide school building programme to respond to demographic changes, as well as the Prefab Replacement Programme, Summer Works Schemes and Minor Works Schemes to support the ongoing school maintenance and upgrade programmes. For pre 2008 schools, a deep energy retrofit programme will be commenced and progressed.

The Digital Strategy for Schools rollout is a priority for Government, and will further embed technology and digital learning in primary and post-primary schools throughout the region.

Increased investment will also support new Physical Education facilities in post-primary schools, to ensure that students have access to the appropriate facilities to support PE provisions, particularly in the context of the roll-out of PE as a Leaving Certificate subject.

Over €100 million in capital funding has been allocated nationally for the Sport Capital Programme (SCP) for the coming four years. This programme will be further expanded over the period 2022 to 2027 which will allow for the continued development of new and improved sports facilities in both urban and rural areas.

To help support employment and enterprise, new Regional Sectoral Clusters will be developed. Led by industry, these Clusters will involve regional SMEs and multinationals collaborating with research centres and third-level institutions, with the aim of scaling and internationalising enterprise in all regions.

2018 will also see the launch of the second phase of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund involving €30m, under Project Ireland 2040.

As part of the Government’s priority efforts to support and equip SMEs for the challenges of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices are supporting exposed enterprises with targeted programmes to improve their competitiveness and innovation performance, and to diversity trade from the UK to new markets.

A €300m loan fund is also open to businesses of less than 500 employees, nation-wide, which are exposed to the impact of Brexit.

Rural and community development in Kildare will be supported by, for example, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, LEADER, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the RAPID Programme and further libraries investment.

The Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMSII) provides support for on-farm facilities and equipment in the East of Ireland to enhance growth and competiveness, address climate and environmental issues, improve animal welfare and farm safety. It also targets young farmers to address the age profile of the sector.

Forestry Programme – Funding for Afforestation grants, forestry development supports as well as premia for existing forestry. In addition to their valuable economic contribution to the rural economy forests play an essential role in helping with climate change mitigation, through carbon sequestration in forests and the provision of renewable fuels and raw materials.

National Food Innovation Hub – Funding to create a supportive environment for research and innovation involving food companies and research institutes with a focus on food, health and nutrition.

Prepared Consumer Food Innovation Centre – Funding  to improve the competitiveness and innovation capacity of  the PCF sector

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund  Programme – Support for investment in productive capacity in aquaculture and for investment in seafood processing equipment and facilities to assist SME seafood enterprises to scale up and invest in the technology to move up the value chain and to diversify their exports.

The multi-annual funding framework for the Rural Water Programme is comprised of a range of measures to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of rural water services infrastructure, including group water schemes and group sewerage schemes.  The aim of this Programme is to strengthen rural economies and communities.

Continued investment in our national transport networks will help ensure high levels of service quality, accessibility and connectivity. This includes for example, a National Train Control Centre to improve rail traffic management, and increased investment in rural transport programmes.

The Arts and Cultural Capital Scheme will be expanded to improve access to and participation in arts and culture in all parts of the country

Both Kildare & Meath sections of the Galway to Dublin Green way to be delivered in 2018/2019

Private finance also plays an important role in the delivery of infrastructure in the higher education sector. Over the ten-year period of the National Development Plan, the seven existing universities plan to deliver projects (including those awaiting sanction) involving a total investment of over €3 billion, to be funded with a mix of own resources, borrowing (including from the EIB), philanthropy and exchequer grants.
Maynooth University: International Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation, new student residences, refurbishment of South Campus accommodation.


IDA property solutions, strategic sites and grants in all regions will deliver new Foreign Direct Investment and high-quality jobs.

Since it is more challenging to win new investment outside metropolitan areas, advanced planning and provision of property solutions will be expanded in all regions with a particular focus in the near term on the Border and Midland Regions. Ireland’s ability to secure significant new large-scale capital investment in all regions is partly dependent on the ready availability of serviced sites of scale with appropriate zoning and capacity for required utilities to match the needs of large capital intensive projects.


Investment in Fáilte Ireland

Almost €108 million has been allocated to Fáilte Ireland for capital investment in Tourism Product Development over the next four years and it is intended that this level of funding will, at a minimum, be maintained over the lifetime of the National Development Plan. Fáilte Ireland will continue to invest in the priority areas that will deliver sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector resulting in higher revenue and more jobs.

Greenways Strategy

Publication expected in Q1/Q2 2018.

Estimated Cost: Subject to proposals received in new funding call following completion of the strategy. Almost €56 million has been made available in the capital plan from 2018-2021.

Estimated Completion Date: Development of greenways will be ongoing over the period of the National Development Plan. Projects to be delivered in 2018/2019 include the completion of the Kildare and Meath sections of the Galway to Dublin Greenway.

It is expected that a number of new greenways projects will be funded and delivered over the period of the National Development Plan, the funding for which will be allocated on the basis of a competitive bid-based approach. The goal of an iconic coast-to-coast greenway from Dublin to Galway remains a priority for the Government and in light of the development of the Greenways Strategy.

Arts and Culture

The Arts and Culture Capital Scheme will also be expanded. This scheme supports the maintenance and development of an extensive network of regional arts infrastructure and will provide funding to regional arts centres, theatres, regional museums, galleries, archives, multi-use facilities, artist studios etc. in all parts of Ireland. This investment has a very important role to play in improving access to and participation in arts and culture for communities in all parts of the country