A MAMMOTH €130m loan request has been approved by Cork County Council — one of the largest ever put to Government by a local authority.
The money will be borrowed by the local authority from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Central European Bank (CEB) to develop 50 projects identified across the county.
The borrowing, together with funding provided by the National Urban and Rural Regeneration Funds, will facilitate progress across all the council’s eight municipal districts.
Projects which are set to benefit include town centre public realm upgrades, town inner relief roads, the development of parks and amenities, tourism-related infrastructure, the protection of culture and heritage, energy efficiency projects and economic development. Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said he foresees enormous benefits to the loan, which will enable the council to deliver on the Government’s Ireland 2040 development plan.
“This is a highly strategic move by Cork County Council. This is the first ever move by council of this type of strategic funding approach and will enable us to be progressive and responsive to the needs of towns and villages.
“It reflects the ambition of both Cork County Council’s executive and elected members.”
County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy praised the decision, saying: “This funding will provide a framework for council to respond to the likes of the Bantry Relief Road and Castletownbere Public Realm and Traffic Management Plan, delivering real progress and improvements for the people of County Cork.”
Council management said the loan will allow them to agree a more strategic and medium-term Capital Investment Program to deliver “shovel ready” projects.
They estimate that there is a need for an investment of €244m over the next 10 years.
Cork County Council already submitted 42 schemes for funding under the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), with a need for €63.1m to advance the projects.
Another 50 projects have been submitted for Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), needing a total of €37.14m to allow these schemes advance.
The local authority is required to bring at least 25% of funding for projects under these grants and this could be assisted through this €130m loan.