Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
153. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if the capital funding for Waterways Ireland will be increased in 2021 to enable an improved level of maintenance and improvement works to be carried out on the navigable waterways in view of the low level of such work over recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17937/21]
Waterways Ireland's work programmes are critical to providing a safe and high quality recreational environment for the public, whilst also preserving the industrial and environmental heritage of the waterways for future generations. These challenges must be balanced with its objective of increasing recreational activity across all of our waterways.
As regards 2021 funding, a provision of €28,918,000 has been provided in the Revised Estimates Volume as part of Budget 2021. This is an overall increase of just over €3,000,000 on the original 2020 allocation. Any proposed works to be carried out in 2021 are an operational matter for Waterways Ireland, which will take into account its strategic business objectives for the waterways network.
As Minister, I have many competing and compelling requests for funding in 2021. I am acutely aware of the value of our inland waterways’ amenity and the excellent work that Waterways Ireland carries out.
Going forward, my priority is to secure the level of current and capital resources that will allow maximum progress to be achieved across the entire range of programmes for which my Department is responsible, including Waterways Ireland and the Heritage area. Details of specific allocations towards individual programmes will be finalised as part of the annual Estimates processes.