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Irish funds for marine infrastructure projects. Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, has announced the allocation of €12.7m to see 15 marine infrastructure projects that will address the impacts of Brexit on Irish coastal communities, delivered by local authorities. These projects were previously put forward by the local authorities under the Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme (BALAMI) 2022-2023.

Commenting on the success to date of the BALAMI Scheme, the Minister said:

“I must commend the Local Authorities on the commitment to delivery of projects through the BALAMI Scheme. By the end of 2023 we had delivered €37.8m in funding to support delivery of 148 capital projects right around the Irish coast, providing immediate economic stimulus to address the impact of Brexit but also lasting infrastructure to underpin long-term resilience.”

The Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure (BALAMI) Scheme 2022-2023 approved up to €55.3m for 164 marine infrastructure projects located in 13 coastal local authorities. The Scheme was recommended by the Seafood Taskforce to support local authorities to rejuvenate Ireland’s coastal and marine infrastructure specifically to address the economic consequences of Brexit arising from the implications to the Irish fishing industry. A number of projects approved under the scheme encountered delivery challenges including in relation to consenting, procurement, supply chain and weather windows for works. The projects approved for funding in 2024 have been selected on the basis of their capacity to be delivered in 2024 and having regard to their ongoing relevance to addressing the impacts of Brexit on Ireland’s fishing industry.

The Minister added:

“The Government has engaged with the European Commission on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve funding and has secured the maximum flexibility possible into early 2024. I consider it vital to progress these projects in the post-Brexit era and I want to see delivery optimised to align with BAR.”.

The Minister concluded:

“Seafood has always been of significant social and economic importance to Ireland and continues to play a vital role in the sustainable economic viability of many coastal communities across Ireland. These projects will help to provide diversification opportunities for those coastal communities that have been particularly affected by the consequences of Brexit.”

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is administering the Scheme, and each local authority is responsible for governance and delivery of its own projects.