Agenda item


            The Chairperson welcomed Eoghan Duffy and John O’Liodain from the Shared island Unit to the meeting.  Mr Duffy thanked the Chairperson for the opportunity to update Members of the Committee on the developments in relation to the Shared Island Initiative.  The Members then received a presentation from Mr. Duffy who outlined the elements of the shared island initiative; the first was building a shared island that included delivering longstanding and new cross-border investments.  The second was Inclusive dialogue: 14 events; 2,500+ citizens from all communities, traditions and regions. And lastly the policy research programme: High quality evidence and analysis on deepening cooperation and connections on the island.  Mr Duffy outlined the key deliverables in relation to the Shared Island research programme, drawing members attention to the Early Childhood Education and Care, North and South that was published on 30 January and Migrant Integration and Experience in Ireland and NI that would be launched next month on 6 March.  He advised the Members that all research was available to view on their website  He went on to outline the shared island fund and that it was mainly to deliver strategic investment objectives on Shared Island as set out in Programme for Government and revised National Development Plan (2021-2030).  He outlined the shared island fund allocations to date, drawing members attention to the 1 billion euro commitment to 2030 and that over 190 million had been allocated between 2020 – 2022. 


Mr Duffy outlined the Shared Island Local Authority Development Funding Scheme providing the overview below:


·        Seed capital grants of up to €250,000 for cross-border Local Authority Partnerships.

·        25 awards to 15 Local Authorities in the South working with 9 councils in NI.

·        Feasibility projects in progress, to conclude Q4 2023.

·        Belfast City Council participating in four feasibility projects:

·        Circular Economy Partnership - Belfast and Dublin.

·        Development of corridor sectoral enterprise - Dublin Belfast Economic Corridor.

·        Harbour Cities - Cork and Belfast.

·        Learning Cities - Cork, Belfast, Derry, Limerick.


            He highlighted that the objective was to generate well-developed pipeline of cross-border local authority projects and that the impact was Local Authorities cooperating to deliver shared regional development goals and more strategic cooperation by central and local government on the island.


            Mr Duffy then provided the update below in relation to the Shared Island Community Climate Action Programme:


·          3m for Shared Island strand to Community Climate Action Programme.

·          Projects to include at partner in Northern Ireland (can be a Council).

·          50% of awarded funding for project delivery in Northern Ireland.

·          Minister for Environment commenced scheme on 2 February.

·          Administered by Community Climate Action Officers in Councils.

·          Grants of €5,000 to €100,000.


            He advised that the objective was to support Local Authorities to step up climate action in partnership with communities across the island and cross-border projects particularly on: Valuing Networks for Nature: Just Transition; Renewable energy: Flood forecasting; Coastal erosion.  The impact of the project was to help to reach climate and energy targets on the island of Ireland and to support collaborative community involvement on climate action.


            Mr Duffy concluded his presentation by outlining the objectives for the shared island initiative in 2023.  Mr Duffy agreed to share the slide deck with members of the Committee and to provide more information in relation to the projects, in particular the electric vehicle charging infrastructure scheme.  After discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the presentation.