Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre and 12 local piers and harbours in County Donegal, including two in Inishowen, are set to receive significant funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's (DAFM) Capital Investment Package programme.
Killybegs, will receive €8.71m of the €38.3m announced this morning by Minister Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue.
The Killybegs Harbour funding will go towards: Smooth Point Pier extension (Phase 2); Small Craft Harbour service building; Landing Pier fendering; boat repair building extension; Harbour Master stores; plant and material storage shed in the shipyard; other contractual commitments; safety and maintenance; and disability access, at Killybegs Harbour.
In addition, Donegal will receive €850k from the Capital Investment Package Enhanced Scheme for Local Authority piers and harbours, with 25% supported by Donegal County Council, making it the highest local piers and harbours allocation in the state.
The projects receiving this funding are: Leenan Slipway (€200,000); Greencastle electrical upgrade and installation of CCTV (€80,000); Portnoo crane (€80,000); Ballyshannon Slipway repair €40,000); Downings repair works (€40,000); Bunaninver Pier head repairs and provision of signage and railings (30,000); Binwee, Magheragallon Pier upgrade works (€30,000); Bundoran Pier repairs and upgrade (€30,000); Portnablagh Pier and Slipway upgrade (€30,000); Mevagh installation of berthing pontoon and access gangway (200,000); Lahardan Breakwater repairs (€40,000); and Ballywhoriskey new pontoon, anchors and access gangway (€40,000).
The Capital Investment Package provides funding for the ongoing development of Ireland's publicly owned harbour network, which includes 79 Local Authority Harbours, across 12 coastal Local Authorities.
The Local Authority programme forms part of DAFM's 2021 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. The Department co-funds up to 75% of the total cost of approved projects with the Local Authority providing the balance.
According to the Department of Farming, Marine and Food, the 2021 Capital Investment Package programme "sees a 35% increase in funding for Local Authority harbours".
Speaking to Donegal Live, Minister McConalogue said: "I am delighted to announce this €38.3 million capital investment package in our six Fishery Harbour Centres and 79 Local Authority owned piers and harbours around our coast.
"It underlines the importance this Government places on the contribution of the wider Seafood sector to Ireland’s economy and to rural coastal communities in particular.”
"It was important to me to place added importance on the Local Authority scheme this year. I am pleased to be to in a position to announce an enhanced €4.2 million programme in 2021, to assist Coastal Local Authorities in the repair and development of fishery and aquaculture linked marine infrastructures under their ownership.
"This year I have redirected savings due to Covid limitations on other projects to increase the monies available to the Local Authorities resulting in a 35% increase in 2020 allocations. Together with funding from Local Authorities, the total amount to be invested in local piers and harbours in 2021 under this scheme comes to €5.6 million," said Minister McConalogue.
Minister McConalogue described the Enhanced Scheme as "providing funding for a diverse suite of 79 projects, geographically spread across 12 Local Authorities, which will improve the amenities provided to the wider Marine community in these coastal areas".
He added: "It will provide a much needed economic boost to rural coastal communities, particularly in these trying times and also make them more attractive to tourists in the longer term.
"During the pandemic, we have become more aware than ever of the importance of our outdoor spaces and local amenities. The continued upgrading and refurbishment of our local piers and harbours will support local fishers, tourism and will have numerous knock-on benefits for local economies. This again demonstrates our Government’s commitment to rural Ireland.”
The annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme provides funding for safety, maintenance and new development works at the six Fishery Harbour Centres: Killybegs, Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle and Ros An Mhíl.
The primary function of the Fishery Harbour Centres is to underpin the ongoing development of the fisheries and seafood processing sectors, while also facilitating other diverse marine related activities.
Minister McConalogue said: "Critically, this year’s funding for the Fishery Harbour Centres provides for the completion of three strategically important projects in Killybegs, Castletownbere and Howth, delivering an additional 460 metres of berthing space in the respective harbours, in accordance with Action 65 of my Department’s 2021 Action Plan. These projects have experienced delays as a result of the necessary Covid restrictions.
"Additionally, a number of new projects are commencing, across the six Fishery Harbour Centres, continuing the improvements being made in facilities available to fishermen and other harbour users."
The Minister concluded: "All told, €140 million has been invested in the Fishery Harbour Centres between 2010 and 2020, with a further €31 million invested in Local Authority owned marine infrastructure over the same period.
"This year's €38.3 million investment in 2021 will create short term employment in some of the most rural coastal communities during the works, as well as reinforcing the strategies for diversification and to develop an environment for long term, sustainable economic opportunities around our coast.”
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