Extra €1.2bn in Investment over 4 years of the Capital Plan

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Department lands biggest increase of Capital Plan brings Capital spend to €7.5bn over the 4 years

  • Over €750 million for BusConnects – a transformative investment package that will finance new and expanded bus routes and greatly improve bus access through and around Dublin, with designated segregated cycle lanes included.


  • Over €110m for a multi-annual urban Cycling and Walking Infrastructure package over the next four years is allocated for investment in our main cities
  • A €680 million investment in additional rail infrastructure between now and 2021 to provide additional Luas capacity, improve mainline rail infrastructure and DART Expansion, and progress new Metro North so as to start passenger services in 2027.
  • €35 million to back new ideas that will help decarbonise the transport sector, including pilot initiatives for low emission technologies.  
  • Over €2.4 billion over 4 years on Maintaining a free flowing motor way network and upgrading major national roads and removing bottlenecks


  • Investment in Greenways and Tourism – continued development of our signature experience brands, including development of a new brand for the midlands and lakelands.


  • Investment in sports capital programme for investment at local level


  • A completed National Indoor arena and funding for other sporting infrastructure.


Speaking today Minister Ross said “This 20 percent increase in capital investment over the next four years means a total of €4.2bn for roads, €2.7bn for public transport, €215m for sport and €168m for tourism.   The transport agencies can now start planning to ramp up their activity levels across public transport and roads, we can bring forward climate change initiatives and we can up our investment in the tourism sector to help buffer it from any ill effects of Brexit.  I am delighted to be in a position to address congestion and emerging capacity constraints on our public transport systems – within Dublin and across the regions – to step up investment in climate friendly and sustainable transport solutions, to take out bottlenecks in the existing road network, to build further on the recent success of our tourism industry and to roll out another round of the sports capital programme.”

Minister Griffin said: “I am pleased that we have been able to secure a 3% increase in sports expenditure for 2018. Through this increase, we will be able to allocate more for the current Sports Capital Programme and we will see the progression of the second Phase of the National Indoor Arena with completion expected in 2019. We will also be able to plan a scheme for large scale sporting projects in the future.”

“We have been able to retain the reduced rate of VAT for tourism, and over the course of the next 4 years we will see investment of over €100m in  developing our tourism product.

“We have also increased funding to market Ireland internationally as a holiday destination to help continue the strong tourism performance that we have experienced in recent years.”


Some 2018 Allocations

  • 434m on the national road network
  • €390 m on regional and local roads – including additional funding of €10m to repair the damage caused by the severe storm in Donegal earlier this year as well as €6.5m funding for road investment in Sligo and Kerry to support enterprise development
  • €2million allocated for Master Licence Record – (Linking Penalty Points to Driver Licences)
  • €6.5 million allocated for roads identified for enterprise development


Roads Capital Plan


We are investing in projects which will relieve bottlenecks and improve access to regional locations, thus helping to deliver jobs into the regions


Similarly, local bottlenecks are being dealt with which will significantly improve life and safety in towns such Sallins; Killaloe; Athy; Portlaoise; Dingle and Laytowen/Bettystown.


In addition, TII will plan and design a pipeline of projects to be delivered under the Ten-Year Investment Plan to accompany the National Planning Framework). Also the Coonagh-Knockalisheen link is a key part of Limerick regeneration, increasing access for both enterprise and residential development.


Finally, we will be investing in managing the network more efficiently, including Variable speed limits for the M50; enhanced capacity on the M11; and a programme to reduce energy use on the national road network by changing from traditional lighting.


Public Transport

2018 allocation of over €400m for public transport infrastructure; 13% increase on 2017

8% increase in the PSO payments in 2018 – the increase in funding in 2018 is a cumulative increase over three years (2016-2018) of €75 million, or 36%.


Four-year capital envelope for public transport of €2.7 billion.  This will enable:


  • investment of more than €750m for the BusConnects programme; a transformative investment package that will finance new and expanded bus routes and greatly improve bus access through and around the Capital, and includes designated segregated cycle lanes.


  • Over €110 million for new urban cycling and walking routes which will provide additional sustainable travel options to complement increased capacity and faster, higher quality public transport in our main cities. 


  • €685 million capital investment in additional rail infrastructure between now and 2021.  This will deliver additional Luas capacity;  with additional trams and longer trams across the  Luas network; the City Centre Re-signalling Project to improve speeds on mainline rail; a new rail Central Traffic Control Centre; increased rail fleet; and further progress on electrification of both the Northern rail line to Balbriggan and the Maynooth line.


  • investment in maintenance and safety projects to maintain safety and service levels in railway operations of our national railway system. 


  • multi-annual funding of almost €30 million over the next four years to continue the programme of retro-fitting older, existing public transport facilities to improve their accessibility features.  This effectively doubles the previously planned investment amount. 


  • funding in the region of €130 million over the next four years for traffic management, bus priority and other smarter travel projects in our cities.


  • €35 million to back new ideas that will help decarbonise the transport sector, including pilot initiatives for low emission technologies.   This is complemented by the investing of 15 million euro in lower energy lighting on national roads.


The 4-year capital envelope progresses preparation of the Metro North.  Construction work on this project will start in 2021, with passenger services starting in 2027.  The 10-year capital plan to be published in the coming months will include the funding for the period to complete this significant addition to public transport. 



Capital Expenditure of €13.5m will be available to Fáilte Ireland in 2018 to continue its investment in the development of Ireland’s tourism product.  Over the 2018 to 2021 period the total spend on developing our tourism product offering will be over €100m.  This significant investment will enhance our experience brands by further developing attractions and infrastructure along the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.  Fáilte will also commence work on the development of a brand and product offering for the Lakelands region and continue to roll out its capital grant schemes. 

Overseas marketing is vital for tourism. While recent tourism performance has been strong, research in our key overseas markets has indicated that Ireland’s share of voice needs to be strengthened.   €2m is being provided in 2018 for digital investment in tourism marketing, both to help restore Ireland’s share of voice vis-à-vis its competitors and also to develop growth from alternative markets. This is critical in the context of Brexit and the decline in visitors from Britain.


In line with the commitment given in the Programme for Partnership Government, an overarching strategy for the future development of Greenways is in preparation.  Greenways are valued by locals and tourists alike and provide many leisure, health and transport benefits.  A very substantial €56m will be made available for the development of Greenways over the coming four funding years, to implement recommendations in the upcoming strategy and to complete projects funded under earlier funding rounds, commencing with €3.6m in 2018.


A new round of the SCP was open for applications earlier in 2017 and the assessment process is nearing finalisation.  The number of applications was the highest ever received.  In order to meet the hopes of as many of these excellent projects as possible, additional funding is being provided in this budget that will allow for an increased allocation under the 2017 round; details of which will be finalised in the coming weeks.

The Sport Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary means of providing Government funding to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level.  More than 10,000 projects have benefited from funding since 1998 and the programme has transformed the sporting landscape with improvements in the quality and quantity of sporting facilities in every part of the country.  The SCP has also been used to redevelop the soon to be opened Parc Ui Chaoimh and to allow construction commence on the Kerry Sports Academy at IT Tralee.  

The Government Is convinced of the huge benefits, in terms of inclusion, health, wellbeing and child development, that arise from sport and the SCP demonstrates the government’s strong commitment to helping community and sports clubs to realise those benefits.  Over €100m in Capital funding will be distributed under the programme over the coming four years. 

New Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund

Grants under the SCP are primarily designed for smaller clubs and organisations.  In the past, the Department has overseen Government support for significant sporting infrastructure including state contributions to the Croke Park redevelopment, the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park.  At present, the Department is administering the Government grants towards the redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh (total contribution €30m) and the Kerry Sports Academy (total planned contribution €7.5m).  It is clear that there are a number of large sporting facilities which have already sought or will seek Government support in the years ahead.  Accordingly a new large scale sport infrastructure fund will be established to fund larger sports projects.  During next year (2018) a formal process will be designed which will facilitate calls for, and processing of, “expressions of interest”.  All expressions will be subject to appropriate cost/benefit analyses. €50m is being set aside over the coming four years for such worthy projects.

Sport Ireland and the National Sport Campus

Phase I of the National Indoor Arena (NIA) was officially opened in December 2016.  It comprises the National Indoor Athletics Centre, the National Indoor Training Centre and the National Gymnastics Training Centre.  Phase 2 of the NIA will comprise covered synthetic pitches and ancillary facilities designed primarily for rugby, soccer and GAA but capable of accommodating all field sports. This facility is intended principally for the training of national and elite teams of the FAI, IRFU and GAA. Funding of €26m is being provided over the next 2 years for the construction of Phase 2 which is expected to be completed in 2019. And Funding to be provided for further development of Campus facilitate in 2020 and 2021.

Swimming Pools

€16.5m will be set aside over the coming four years to cover all existing commitments for the provision and renovation of swimming pools under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.


Capital Plan review has yielded €17.6 million in additional capital funding over the next four years for the Regional Airports Programme which provides financial support to the smaller regional airports in Donegal, Knock, Kerry and Waterford. This is considerably higher than the €10 million in extra funding that was originally mooted in the Programme for Government.


Over €95million to be allocated for current and capital expenditure in 2018; a 2.3% increase on 2017. Funding ensures Irish Coast Guard maintains quality and level of service. Funding also provides for the services of the Maritime Safety Policy Division, the Marine Survey Office, the Mercantile Marine Office and the Marine Radio Affairs Unit.