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Infrastructure: Major Northern Ireland projects in doubt as funding streams cut

Our new life outside Europe... your guide to how things are likely to change

By John Mulgrew

Published 25/06/2016

The future of major roads and infrastructure projects could be in doubt, as EU funding streams begin to dry up, it has been claimed
The future of major roads and infrastructure projects could be in doubt, as EU funding streams begin to dry up, it has been claimed

The future of major roads and infrastructure projects could be in doubt, as EU funding streams begin to dry up, it has been claimed.

And there is "no argument" which can be made that a Brexit is a "good thing" for construction and infrastructure here, according to Wesley Johnston, who runs the Northern Ireland Roads website.

He said developments such as the York Street Interchange - of which it's understood 40% of the some £170m cost is believed to be earmarked from the EU - would, at the very least, be pushed back.

And the Department for Infrastructure has warned there will be "severe implications" for big budget projects

"I don't think it kills the scheme, but there is a big question over that time scale," Mr Johnston said.

"We have funding allocation for the A5 and A6... it doesn't kill them off.

"You can't make an argument that (Brexit) is a good thing (in terms of infrastructure).

"It means the loss of a significant revenue stream, and there is a lot of uncertainty for the quarry industry, and road construction companies.

"It would raise question marks over the Narrow Water Bridge."

And now the UK is in the early stages of leaving, he said he "can't see how the EU would have any appetite for handing any more money" to Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland received more than £170m in the two years between 2013 and 2015 from the EU, towards business and infrastructure.

Projects part-funded by the EU include the £130m A8 road to Larne, which received €18m (£15m) from the EU towards its development.

Some of the other infrastructure projects which have received EU funding include £10.7m from Interreg Iva, mostly towards the Enterprise service, and £19m towards the Londonderry to Coleraine line, and works on Knockmore to Lurgan lines.

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