AQW 19908/17-22

Mr Cathal Boylan
Sinn Féin
Newry and Armagh

Tabled Date: 04/06/2021
Answered On Date: 21/06/2021
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Infrastructure (i) whether the £20m blue/green fund was fully spent last year; and (ii) how the money was spent.

The provisional outturn of spending from my Blue Green Infrastructure Fund during the 2020-21 financial year is broken down as follows:
£5m on the COVID-19 Revitalisation Programme across all councils.
£2.4m for greenway projects across three council areas consisting of Forth Meadow, Lagan Gateway, Strabane North, Strathfoyle, North West Greenways and Banbridge Riverside Walk.
£3.7m by my Department on a range of interventions including foot and cycle ways, pop up cycle lanes, crossings and other cycle/foot infrastructure, and social distancing measures.
£1.3m for a pilot of electric minibuses for community transport.
£150,000 for flood prevention schemes at Forth River and at Belfast Castle
£100,000 grant for Belfast City Council for Belfast Bikes
£54,000 for the procurement of electric vehicles to replace end of life petrol/diesel vehicles within my Department’s fleet
£53,000 for planting and greening schemes.
I would like to have delivered full spend against this budget, and my officials have canvassed widely for projects, but spending often requires complex preliminary work to be sufficiently advanced in what is an innovative area. I am also keen to support Council Greenway proposals, but it is important that Councils work with stakeholders to develop their proposals to the point that they are ready to be built. The outturn is substantial and this, together with my commitment to a £20m budget for this year, will continue to build momentum for this kind of investment.
I recently announced £2.5 million funding for Greenways this financial year and I am keen to make more allocations to schemes that are in a position to start construction this year.