Improved broadband for South and East Ireland

24 February 2015
By Tom O’Sullivan
tom@TheCork.ie

Cork County Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe, of the Southern and Eastern Regional
Assembly met European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu in
Brussels today to sign the €498.2 m European Regional Development Fund
(ERDF) agreement for the Southern and Eastern region of Ireland. They were
joined by Minister Brendan Howlin TD at the ceremony to mark the adoption
of the ERDFs for Ireland for 2014-2020.

Welcoming the signing of the programme, Commissioner Creţu said: “*We need
to empower citizens with the skills and knowledge they need to set up small
companies; we need to facilitate the access of these businesses to
financial support, and most importantly, we need to enable them to create
jobs. Today’s investment programmes set all Irish regions on this path*.”

Echoing this sentiment, Councillor O’Keeffe added: ”*The signing of this
Operational Programme allows my region to continue to invest heavily in
research& development and innovation, including next generation broadband
rollout.*”

The programme is expected to:

– Create 17,000 new jobs in small companies by targeting specific
sectors including digital, food and energy
– Expand high-speed broadband services targeting 164,300 households
– Improve energy efficiency in housing leading to warmer homes, cheaper
energy bills and reduced CO2 emissions
– Revitalise urban areas, including increased usage of public transport
for urban journeys
– Increase links between SMEs and research centres, improving
commercialisation for Irish SMEs

Examples of previous EU funding in *Cork* under the 2006-2013 ERDF can be
found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/the_eu_and_you/the_eu_in_your_county/county_reports_2015/cork.pdf

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