EU Budget

€240 million ERDF (up to 85% support per project)

Eligible areas

Counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo along with Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.


Research & Innovation (€60 million)

Objective 1.1: To increase business- and industry-relevant research and innovation capacity across the region within two target sectors; Health & Life Sciences and Renewable Energy.

Objective 1.2: To increase the number and capacity of SMEs engaged in cross-border research and innovation activity in the region aimed at the development of new products, processes and services.

Environment (€72 million)

Objective 2.1: To promote cross-border co-operation to facilitate the recovery of selected protected habitats and priority species.

Objective 2.2: To develop cross-border capacity for the monitoring and management of marine protected areas and species in the region:

  • Development and implementation of cross-border marine management plans
  • Mapping of marine/seabed environment
  • Creation of a regional cross-border marine centre
  • Creation of a network of marine protected areas
  • Research and development in the marine environment; including the impact of climate change
  • Marine skills development initiatives
  • Co-ordinated research programme of direct relevance to the management challenges of the eligible area
  • Knowledge and data sharing
  • Prediction model development and signage for short term pollution and real-time management of bathing water quality in coastal waters.

Objective 2.3: To improve water quality in shared transitional waters. Interventions will focus on the following transitional and cross-border water bodies:

  • Carlingford Lough
  • Lough Foyle
  • The river catch activities will be limited to river catchments where the area is on both sides of the border.
  • The location of the groundwater wells will be on both sides of the border to support monitoring and pollution of the river catchment activities.
  • The sustainable catchment area management modelling and plan will be a cross-border plan focusing on a freshwater capture area, encompassing activities in areas exclusive to some of the border counties.

Objective 2.4: To improve freshwater quality and compliance with the Water Framework Directive requirements in cross-border river basins.

Sustainable Transport (€40 million)

Objective 3.1: Promote cross-border intermodal and sustainable mobility.

Health & Social Care (€53 million)

Objective 4.1: Through collaboration on a cross-border basis, to improve the health and well-being by enabling access to quality health and social care services in the most appropriate setting to people’s needs. Actions will be supported in a number of areas:

  • Population health
  • Disability services
  • Mental health
  • Children’s services
  • Primary care and older people services
  • Acute services

Project examples

  • The Co-Innovate Project, led by InterTrade Ireland, was awarded up to €14.7 million ERDF to support over 1,400 manufacturing and tradable services SMEs and micro-businesses with export potential SMEs across the programme area. It will provide education and capability support tailored to meet the needs of the participating businesses; enhanced cooperation with research institutions (including access to ‘innovation interns’ to help implement enhanced R&I activity); and innovation audits to support specific new product and process development. Partners involved include all six Local Enterprise Offices (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo) from the Border Region.
  • The Catchment Care Project, led by Donegal County Council is receiving €11.72 million ERDF to deliver sustainable solutions to avoid pollution of drinking water sources in the Finn, Blackwater and Arney Catchments and install 51 boreholes across the region. This will be implemented via a Sustainable Catchment Management Programme (SCaMP) to supplement existing Water Framework Directive (WFD) measures and contribute to the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) objective of reducing risks and ensuring safe drinking water. Partners include Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council, the Loughs Agency Geological Survey of Ireland, and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
  • The Collaborative Action for the Natura Network (CANN) Project is delivering Conservation Action Plans across 25 separate sites, 18 of which will be implemented within the lifetime of the project. These actions will involve improving the conservation status of 3,150 hectares of protected. habitats (Special Area of Conservation) and for seven priority species. The protection of these habitats and species will allow targets set under the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives to be met along with realising benefits from various ecosystem services, such as carbon storage, alleviating flooding and visual and cultural landscapes. The project will also deliver a series of education and outreach programmes to help increase awareness in local communities of the potential value of natural habitats and endangered species. The project, which has been awarded €7.1 million ERDF is led by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council. Its partnership includes Monaghan County Council as well as Institute of Technology Sligo and East Border Region Ltd.
  • The Carlingford Lough Greenway Project, led by Louth County Council in partnership with Newry & Mourne District Council and East Border Regions Ltd. has been awarded almost €3 million ERDF towards the delivery of 10.1km of new cross-border greenways to facilitate sustainable mobility between Carlingford and Newry. It will also create and implement a promotional marketing campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling for everyday commuters.


Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), M:TEK II Building, Armagh Road, Monaghan, H18 YH59. Tel: 047 77003. Email: