Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance
Today in Aberystwyth I launched the public consultation on the draft Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014–2020, an EU funding programme that will benefit businesses, people and communities on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Worth around €90m (around £75m), which represents a significant increase on the 2007-2013 programme value of €70m, the 2014-2020 programme will encourage stakeholders across our maritime border to work together to develop innovative projects to address shared economic, environmental and social challenges in the areas of innovation, climate change, and the utilisation of natural and cultural resources and heritage.
Wales (through the Welsh European Funding Office) will lead on the management of the 2014–2020 programme working in close partnership with the Irish Authorities, and will build on the achievements of the 2007–2013 programme (managed by the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly), which has supported 41 collaborative projects with €49.5m (around £41m) from the European Regional Development Fund.
This public consultation forms another important step in the extensive partnership engagement across the public, third and private sectors which has been underway over the last two years in both Wales and Ireland.
I welcome and look forward to your views on the consultation document, which is available via the following website link.
The closing date for responses is 31 July, and the responses received will help inform the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme which will be submitted to the European Commission by 20 September 2014 for formal negotiation and approval.