Belfast Telegraph

Minister praises £209m EU cross-border co-operation fund

A £209 million European Union (EU) fund has been launched aimed at improving cross-border co-operation between western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland.

The fund is open to applications from projects working across the three regions in the fields of research and innovation, the environment, sustainable transport and health, and will support activity from now until 2020.

The Interreg Va programme was launched in Belfast by Scottish Infrastructure and Investment Secretary Keith Brown, Northern Ireland Finance Minister Mervyn Storey and Ireland Finance Minister Brendan Howlin.

Mr Brown said: "I welcome this investment and commitment to strengthening our cross-border partnerships, and look forward to seeing people and communities in western Scotland sharing in the benefits being delivered to all three regions.

"This huge investment will help projects delivering healthcare, transport, environmental benefits and wider innovation, strengthening our already good cross-border links with Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland.

"Funding such as this also demonstrates quite clearly how communities in Scotland gain from being an active part of the European Union.

"Western Scotland was incorporated into the previous round of this programme in 2007 and we have already seen good results. For example, the IBIS project, which was funded under the programme, delivered a world-class research and training facility at Loch Lomond."

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