This cross-border maritime programme connects Eastern and Southern parts of Ireland with the West coast of Wales to address common challenges and bring about sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits for people, businesses and communities. Unusually for an EU funding programme, Ireland-Wales operates on the basis of a permanent call inviting proposals. These are assessed on the basis of a two-stage process (‘pre-planning’ and, upon invitation, ‘business planning’).

Visit Programme website

EU Budget

€79 million ERDF (up to 80% support per project)

Eligible areas

Counties Carlow, Cork (city and county), Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Fingal, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Meath, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow along with Western Wales.


Cross border innovation (€31.7 million)

Objective: To increase the intensity of knowledge transfer collaborations involving research organisations and SMEs in line with the shared priorities of the smart specialisation strategies.

Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change (€27.7 million)

Objective: To increase capacity and knowledge of Climate Change Adaptation for the Irish Sea and coastal communities.

Cultural and Natural Resources and Heritage (€15 million)

Objective: To sustainably realise the potential of natural and cultural assets in increasing visitor numbers to coastal communities in the Programme area.

Project Examples

  • The Celtic Routes project aims to transform less well-known areas from transit zones into new touring sites by actions to increase their visitor appeal and capitalise on opportunities to boost local economies, including through the development of new trails linking local culture, heritage and the natural environment. The project is being developed through customer research, trade events and workshops as well as cross-border visits by businesses on both sides of the sea to bring together expertise and ideas. The County Councils of Waterford, Wicklow and Wexford are joined by Welsh counterparts in accessing a collective €1.6 million of ERDF support towards these aims.
  • CATALYST is a pilot scheme to drive innovation within Welsh and Irish businesses within the life science and food and drink sectors. The scheme will work with 60 businesses to develop new specialist products, access new markets and ensure packaging of products is sustainably sourced and minimised. Tipperary and Carlow County Councils, along with the Institute of Technology Carlow make up the Irish partnership to this project which has been granted €1.3m of EU funding.
  • Working with renewable energy, food and drink and life science sectors across the Irish Sea Border, the BUCANIER project seeks to use €2.9 million ERDF support to facilitate increased cross-border collaborative research, development and innovation (RD&I) clustering and networking activity between research institutions and SMEs. The project will also invest in ideas for the design, development, testing and delivery of new products, processes and services by applying design-based innovation that will bring new product/service ideas closer to the commercial market thereby contributing to the increase in cross-border productivity. Wexford County Council is joined by partners including Institute of Technology of Carlow and Bord Iascaigh Mhara. 


Emma Doran (

or Breda Curran (,

Southern Regional Assembly, O’Connell St., Waterford.  Tel: 051 318106/318101

Twitter: @irelandwales