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Project Capital Funding

Project Capital Funding

National Capital Funding

Local Authority Capital Budgets result in the creation of assets e.g. houses, swimming pools, libraries etc. that are financed by a combination of state grants, development levies, borrowings from the local authorities, internal resources and property sales from local authorities. The capital programme generated from this budget includes expenditure on the acquisition of fixed assets, infrastructure projects and work-in-progress and preliminary expenses.

Climate Action Fund supports initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland's climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner. It offers the potential for innovative interventions, which, in the absence of support from the fund, would not otherwise be developed. It also facilitates  projects that contribute to other Government policy priorities including: innovation, capacity building towards the development of climate change solutions capable of being scaled beyond once off benefits, job creation, air quality improvement, reduction in fuel poverty,  and enhancement for  biodiversity and community resilience and development.

Urban Regeneration and Development Fund supports the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities and other large urban centres. 

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund supports job creation in rural areas, supports repopulation of rural communities and improvements in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000, and outlying areas. It supports coordinated and integrated projects between government departments, state agencies, local authorities, other public bodies, communities. Where appropriate it also supports philanthropic funders and/or the private sector, which will have an impact on sustainable economic and social development in rural areas. 
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage- Social Housing Investment Programme is a capital fund for a range of measures to improve the standard and overall quality of the social housing stock owned by the local authority. The programme includes retrofitting measures aimed at improving the energy efficiency of older apartments and houses by reducing heat loss through the fabric of the building and installation of high efficiency condensing boilers. Typical measures under this funding include attic and wall insulation, the replacement of windows and external doors, the fitting of condensing boilers and heat pumps and installation of LED lighting.  The fund also covers some non-energy related improvement works to the dwelling. The works usually result in a Building Energy Rating (BER) of a house going from a D or E to a B2.  

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) 
Local Enterprise Offices help start-ups and small businesses to plan, start and grow. They provide and facilitate funding to promote entrepreneurship, foster business start- up, develop existing micro and small businesses and supports for business ideas. This drives job creation. LEOs also administer priming grants,  feasibility study grants , financial supports,  business expansion grants, technical assistance for micro exporters, access to the European Globalisation fund, new agile innovation fund, Brexit supports and Covid 19 supports. 

Environmental Protection Agency The Green Enterprise: Innovation for Circular Economy Call supports the development of consumer and business solutions that will stimulate the circular economy. The fund aims to develop innovative and practical applications and solutions in new or altered products, processes, services or solutions that prevent waste and stimulate the circular economy. The call prioritizes areas dealing with plastics, construction & demolition, food, resources and raw materials.

Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) have oversight and responsibility for local development and community related funding in their county. The six year Economic and Community Plan details the allocation of resources through the LCDCs. The LCDC prepares the community element of the plan and the economic element is prepared by the Strategic Policy Committee for Economic Development and Enterprise Support. The LCDC administers the Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) which provides capital funding to community groups allowing them to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas. Typical measures include IT and CCTV equipment renovations for community centres, minor building improvements, development community amenities, purchase equipment for community usage, improvements to town parks, common areas and energy saving projects.  

Public Service Innovation Fund is a competitive fund that aims to support innovative ideas from across public service organisations and turn them into a reality resulting in new and better approaches to service delivery.  Projects with an emphasis on outcomes and impact, collaboration, scalability, transferability and learning within the Public Service are favoured. 

SEAI Schemes including Better Energy Communities, Electric Vehicle Scheme, EXCEED grant  are SEAI grants that are helping homeowners, business owners, communities and large industry reduce their energy costs and greenhouse emissions.
Woodland Environment Fund Forest Service , Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (WEF DAFM)  Is an innovative public –private initiative whereby the corporate sector can provide additional Native Woodland Scheme top up payments to premiums paid to landowners who establish native woodlands . DAFM fund landowners for the cost of planting the woodland and its establishment plus an annual premium for up to 15 years. Businesses can contribute funding following an assessment by a National Capital Facilitator (NCF) of the woodland’s carbon offset.  To avail of funding, landowners must use a registered forester who appoints the NCF. Forestry Service DAFM and the NGO Woodlands Of Ireland  who provide further technical support. It is an ideal match for Corporate Social Responsibility programme as the fund is associated with a tangible environmental asset that will become a permanent feature of the landscape. Businesses report the estimated carbon emissions reductions from a forest they have committed to against their carbon footprint. Additional benefits resulting from this fund include a reduction in national GHG as per the Climate Action Plan , enhanced biodiversity which is greater in native woodlands than mono cultural plantations, improved water quality, habitat linkage , enhancement of the landscape, spaces for recreation and amenities and educational interpretation and the encouragement of previously reluctant landowners to create a forest. 
NeighbourWood Scheme DAFM with Teagasc supports the development of attractive close-to-home woodland amenities (or ‘neighbourwoods’) for public use. The scheme is available to both public and private landowners, working in partnership with local communities. Funding is available under three separate elements:

•    NeighbourWood (NBR) Establishment - funds the establishment of new neighbourwood on open ‘greenfield’ sites;
•    NBR Enhancement - funds the silviculture enhancement of existing woodland already used as neighbourwood, or proposed for development as neighbourwood; and
•    NBR Facilities - funds the installation and upgrade of appropriate recreational facilities within an area submitted under NBR Establishment or NBR Enhancement, or within an existing woodland suitable for recreation but not submitted under NBR Enhancement.

Woodland Creation on Public Lands DAFM encourages Public Bodies including local authorities to establish new native woodlands on suitable bare land with a minimum size of 0.1 Hectare. The fund can cover the cost of site preparation, planting and early woodland maintenance to different degrees depending on the size of the site. To avail of the fund the applicant will be required to get technical expertise from registered foresters, ecologists and  woodland nurseries. These specialists ensure best practice in terms of site selection, ecological impacts and habitat surveys, planting schemes, purchase and planting of the saplings and the management of the establishing forest for 4 years. Sites can be bundled together making it a suitable scheme for urban settings.   Additional benefits  from participation in this scheme include:

•    A reduction in national GHG as per the Climate Action Plan; 
•    Enhanced biodiversity;
•    Improved water quality; flood resilience; 
•    Habitat linkage; enhancement of the landscape; 
•    Spaces for recreation and amenities; 
•    Educational interpretation; 
•    Creation of forest playground; 
•    Improved air quality in areas with high traffic levels; 
•    Enhanced shade in urban settings to cope with heatwaves; soil protection;
•    Reclamation of former landfill and brownfield sites; and,
•    Fulfilment of Local Authority commitments to  undertake climate adaptation.  

Climate KIC – SEED money funding - In order to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, Climate-KIC is playing an active role in bringing together the world’s leading innovative start-ups with angel investors and venture capital. This facilitates investment in positive climate impact companies and early stage start-ups. 
European Capital Funding

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to correct imbalances between regions within the  European Union to strengthen economic and social cohesion.  The fund is given for key priority areas (thematic concentrations)
  • Innovation and research;
  • The digital agenda;
  • Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and
  • The low-carbon economy.
The ERDF resources allocated to these priorities will depend on the category of region.  80% of funds must focus on at least two of these priorities in the developed regions, 60% in transition regions and 50% in less developed regions. 

The current fund runs from 2014 to 2020. In Ireland it is delivered through Regional Operational Programmes managed by the relevant Regional Assembly. Enterprise Ireland is responsible for the implementation and management of the ERDF grants. 
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the lending arm of the European Union. It is the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world and one of the largest providers of climate finance. The EIB aims to help the economy, create jobs, promote equality and improve lives for EU citizens and for people in developing countries. The EIB Group has two parts: the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. The European Investment Bank focuses on six areas:
  • Climate and environment;
  • Development;
  • Innovation and skills;
  • Small businesses;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Cohesion.
The Covenant of Mayors (COM) - The EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, launched in 2008, brings together thousands of local governments voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives. The COM website contains an interactive funding guide that outlines initiatives managed by the EU, member states and key financial institutions e.g. EIB; as-well as information on support services and innovative financing schemes. The Urbis Advice Hub on the COM website aims to accelerate and unlock urban investment projects, programmes and platforms.  

The Next Generation EU Stimulus Plan announced by the EU commission in May 2020 is a recovery instrument which provides financial supports to member states to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic. It will focus on climate action by meeting the EU’s objectives set out in the EU  Green Deal and on the digitisation of society and health-sector resilience. It will be distributed through existing funding platforms including Horizon Europe, EU Cohesion spending,  the just Transition Fund, Rural Development Funds and support for developing countries on the periphery of the EU.
The climate action features of this stimulus include:
  • A large renovation wave of buildings and infrastructure;  
  • Increased circular economy to create local jobs; 
  • Rolling out renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar; 
  • Kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy;
  • Cleaner transport and logistics, including the installation of one million charging points for electric vehicles and a boost for rail travel and clean mobility in our cities and regions; 
  • Strengthening the Just Transition Fund to support re-skilling and helping businesses create new economic opportunities. 
The EU Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse Projects under Horizon 2020  are an example of what this  stimulus is hoping to practically achieve. The Lighthouse projects bring industries, local government, SMEs, investors,  citizens and researchers  together to transform cities and communities into smart and sustainable places that demonstrate mobility, smart buildings, SMART infrastructure , citizen engagement, data platforms and improved city governance.