The Committee welcomed Ms. Lisa-Dee Collery and Mr. Eoighan Duffy to the meeting. They then received a presentation from Ms. Collery in relation to the Shared Island initiative. She advised the Members that the shared island initiative had three strands of work, namely, building the shared island, dialogue and engagement and research.
She went on to provide an overview of the Shared Island Fund Budget 2021- €500m capital fund from 2021-25, ring-fenced for collaborative North/South projects, that would implement PfG commitments and objectives of the Shared Island.
The National Development Plan had been reviewed in October 2021, along with the key criteria for allocations from the Shared Island Fund. The Committee noted the allocations to date and that the Shared Island Fund would enable progress with delivery of Programme for Government commitments.
The Revised National Development Plan had been launched by the Government in October 2021. That included a significant Shared Island dimension setting new investment objectives across virtually all sectors. It committed €3.5bn for collaborative cross-border investment over the next decade and the Shared Island Fund had doubled to €1bn to 2030.
The Government committed to work through all-island partnerships for a more connected, sustainable and prosperous island. It outlined plans for a more connected island through connectivity of infrastructure, systems and people: encompassing transport, tourism and recreation, public services as well as culture, arts and heritage.
She went on to inform the Committee of the plans for a more sustainable island. A well-coordinated North/South approach was fundamental to effective policy and public investment actions on climate and environment. Co-ordinated investment for a regionally balanced and prosperous island, including a national development plan total all-island investment commitment of more than €3.5billion. This would be delivered through an Extended Shared Island Fund (€1bn); Government’s annual funding for North/South cooperation (€1,4bn); Project Ireland 2040 funds and the PEACE PLUS programme (€1bn+) - delivered with the EU, UK and NI Executive.
After discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the presentation.
It was agreed that Council officers would come back with a report looking at any potential collaboration with local authorities across the island to look at avenues of funding through the Shared Island unit.