Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced the opening of the second call for applications to the Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023. The Scheme funds publicly owned marine infrastructure and is being funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR). In April, under the first call of the Scheme, Minister McConalogue announced approval for 110 projects around the Irish coast.
In announcing the opening of this second call for applications, the Minister said:
“Earlier this year we asked local authorities to prioritise their then shovel-ready projects and it was great to see so many come through for approval. Now that some of these projects are being advanced and the impact of Brexit is beginning to crystalise for some coastal communities, it is timely to open a second call and move forward the development of further infrastructure projects under the Scheme.”
The scheme assists the development of the marine economy in coastal communities by aiming to give immediate construction stimulus to those coastal communities affected by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom (TCA). It is targeted to attract such projects of up to €1m budget during 2022 and 2023. The Scheme also offers the possibility of funding larger projects where there is particular exposure to Brexit due to proximity to UK waters and loss of fishing opportunities. The projects will be delivered by the local authority which owns and maintains the relevant marine infrastructure.
The Minister encouraged local authorities to make full use of this unique opportunity: “The geopolitical landscape has changed significantly recently, and it is of the utmost importance that we invest to promote future economic growth in our coastal communities”
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is administering the Scheme and will be working closely with coastal local authorities to ensure that eligible projects receive funding. Each local authority is responsible for governance and delivery of its own projects.
Notes for Editors
The Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) is a special one-off emergency instrument. The objective of the BAR is to provide support to counter the adverse economic, social, territorial and, where appropriate, environmental consequences of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union in Member States, including their regions and local communities, and sectors, in particular in those that are most adversely affected by the withdrawal, and to mitigate the related negative impact on the economic, social and territorial cohesion. Ireland is the biggest beneficiary of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve and the first Member State to receive its pre-financing. Use of the BAR is governed by EU regulation. Fisheries and coastal communities were an important element of the negotiations on the Member State BAR allocations.
The Report of the Seafood Task Force proposed an €80 million, five-year initiative for the development of publicly owned marine infrastructure, of which the earlier years would focus on small scale “shovel ready” Local Authority projects to be funded under the BAR. The objective is to give immediate construction stimulus to the coastal communities impacted by the TCA and that the resulting infrastructure development would provide a longer-term platform for the development of new and diversified economic activity in these coastal communities. The provision of this enhanced publicly owned marine infrastructure would be a key enabler in allowing integrated application at a local level of the Task Force’s other recommended initiatives for the seafood sector, locally led development and marine tourism initiatives.
The Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023 is designed to support economic sectors, businesses and local communities and to support job creation and protection by distributing BAR funds to enhance, upgrade, modernise and develop Ireland’s publicly owned coastal and marine infrastructure to facilitate diversification of economic opportunities. The main condition for reimbursing public authorities is that the costs incurred must be directly linked to countering the adverse effects of the UK's withdrawal. Funding from the Reserve must be availed of before the end of 2023. Local authorities will need to meet these and other conditions to avail of the funding. The first call under the Scheme saw 110 projects approved around the Irish coast: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/7e3ad-mcconalogue-announces-approval-of-327m-brexit-investment-in-public-marine-infrastructure/