Fingal County Council has approved the drawdown of an €8 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) as it prepares for an ambitious €588 million spend on their Capital Programme.
The local authority is planning a significant boost to its Capital Programme over the next three years, investing in housing, lighting, heritage, tourism and industry.
Last December, FCC signed a historic agreement to secure a €70 million loan over five years and last week councillors gave their agreement to the draw-down of the first tranche of funds from the EIB.
Money will be pumped into housing, greenway routes, street lighting, works at Swords Castle and Bremore Castle and servicing lands zoned for industrial development.
For the period 2019-2021, a total of 212 projects have been identified, with an estimated €187.52 million spend next year alone.
In 2020, capital expenditure will be in the region of €208 million with a further €192 million in 2021.
Investment in housing will account for almost half of the expenditure, at €297 million, while infrastructure will account for €150 million, with libraries, community and culture at €60.8 million and economic/enterprise and tourism at €42 million.
Council chief executive Paul Reid said: “We will be using the finance in a tactical way to address that projects that we may not have otherwise got to.”
Mr Reid gave a commitment to bring forward a report early in 2019 which will provide a more detailed look at projects to be funded under the EIB loan facility over the coming years.
Councillors gave a broad welcome to the loan initiative and to assurances given that funding from other available sources would continue to be sought.
A €50million investment is planned for the Swords Cultural Quarter along with €4.3million for ongoing conservation works at Swords Castle.
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) said he was “delighted” to see the planned expenditure of €43.7million for greenway projects, subject to planning and top-up funding, which will provide a walking route along the entire Fingal coast, once completed.
These include the Broadmeadow greenway from Malahide to Donabate, the Baldoyle to Portmarnock greenway, the Sutton to Malahide route, the Skerries to Balbriggan link, Rush to Lusk greenway and the route from Donabate to Skerries.
A total of €4 million has been allocated for a recreational hub at Rivervalley Park, including the all-weather pitch, and Cllr Butler says he will continue to lobby for a walkway from Rivermeade to the Broadmeadow Estuary.