The inclusion of parts of Kildare in the €169m Just Transition funding announced today will be a major benefit for the county, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine and Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has said.
Minister Heydon said: “I have consistently highlighted the need for recognition for the people of Kildare as part of any Just Transition. Alongside East Galway, Laois, Longford, north Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath, Kildare will benefit from inclusion in this €169m fund to address the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the closure of peat-reliant power stations.
“Over the coming decade Just Transition funding will be used to generate new jobs, stimulate businesses, increase tourism to the region, and restore peatlands. My focus now will be to work with workers, companies, and communities in Kildare to ensure we put this funding to best use and develop a thriving region.”
“At a national level we have prepared a Territorial Just Transition (JTF) Plan which is accompanied by a programme that sets out the activities the fund we will support,” the Minister said.
The EU JFT has now been approved by Government and is due to be approved by the European Commission next month. Further details of the programme will be available in early 2023.
The programme will focus on:
- generating employment for former peat communities by investing in the diversification of the local economy. The fund will support productive investments in enterprise, SMEs and community actions;
- supporting the restoration and rehabilitation of degraded peatlands and the regeneration and repurposing of industrial heritage assets;
- providing former peat communities with smart and sustainable mobility options to enable them to benefit directly from the green transition.
“The plan also includes funding for a proposal from my Department for a Centre of Excellence, which, working with farmers, will be a focal point of research into the sustainable management of peat soils”, concluded Minister Heydon.