29 July 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Council of Europe Development Bank to provide loan funding to Cork County Council to foster sustainable growth in the County’s key towns and their hinterlands
The Council of Europe Development Bank today signed a €33.7 million loan agreement with Cork County Council to support the Council’s Social Sustainability Investment Programme.
The Council has developed a Social Sustainability Investment Programme to maximise potential for growth under the National Planning Framework Project Ireland 2040 and ensure a sustainable future for Cork County.
A broad-ranging portfolio of projects totalling in excess of €250 million have been identified by Cork County Council and planned for delivery over an 8 to 10 year period. In order to deliver on this programme the Council has been in discussions with the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and today saw the signing of a Framework Loan Agreement between the CEB and Cork County Council at a ceremony in County Hall, in conjunction with the Governor of the CEB Rolf Wenzel via a teleconference to CEB offices in Paris.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the announcement saying,
“Cork County is diverse and the strengths and needs of our many towns and villages can vary. This loan will contribute to ensuring the continued economic and social sustainability of our communities, addressing these locally targeted, but very different challenges. Improvements to our road networks, enhancements to our town centres, flood protection and investment in our heritage and tourism amenities will ensure Cork County continues to be wonderful place to live, work, visit and enjoy for all.”
Speaking via tele-conference link from Paris, Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel said,
“CEB is pleased to support Cork County Council’s Social Sustainability Investment Programme. We were convinced by the Council’s systematic approach to identifying infrastructure projects that benefit the most vulnerable populations of Cork County.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, commented,
“Cork has been set a target of delivering in the region of 23% of the State’s overall population growth by 2040. This demands coordinated strategic planning and investment. In tandem with central government Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development funding streams, this €33.7 million loan agreement with the Council of Europe Development Bank will allow us to support a strategic investment programme, implement development plans, support communities and drive economic performance across the entire county. Cork County Council’s Project ACT, although developed as part of our response to Covid 19, has brought these plans into focus, illustrating the importance of reactivating and reinforcing our towns and villages, underpinning our communities to achieve their full social and economic potential.”
Urban infrastructure and public spaces, public and culture buildings modernisation, flood protection and drainage, broadband and business incubation, walking/cycling facilities, flood prevention and adaptation to climate change are all expected to benefit from investment.