Works to provide public realm and transport infrastructure in Galway City, Oranmore, Castlebar and Roscommon Town
Funding for master planning for future works at Castlebar Military Barracks and Galway Innovation and Creativity District
Investment will provide much needed stimulus during economic recovery
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, today announced €82.8 million in funding for seven regeneration projects in the Western investment region of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The projects are being funded under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The URDF part-funds projects aimed at enhancing urban areas to make them more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest. The four local authorities, which will deliver these multi-annual projects, will receive this funding.
The projects for which URDF support have been approved are:
Galway City Council Transport Connectivity Project (Galway City Council) – €40.30 million
Galway Public Spaces and Streets Project (Galway City Council) – €8.64 million
Galway Innovation and Creativity District (Galway City Council) – €4.3 million
Oranmore Railway Station (Galway County Council) – €9.28 million
Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative Project (Mayo County Council) – €8.53 million
Castlebar Military Barracks Project (Mayo County Council) – €2.5 million
Roscommon Town Centre-Putting the Spokes back into the Hub (Roscommon County Council) – €9.20 million
The department will now contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. The projects announced today will augment the existing pipeline of 87 URDF-supported projects across the country for which just under €300 million has already been allocated. Today’s announcement brings the total approved URDF funding for this investment region to €101.55 million to date. Details of the remaining provisional funding allocations for URDF projects in other Project Ireland 2040 investment regions, not already announced, will be announced next week.
All selected projects support the National Planning Framework’s ‘national strategic outcome’ of compact growth, a particular focus of the second call for URDF proposals. The URDF aims to facilitate a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services and amenities, within the existing built-up areas of larger urban settlements.
Announcing the provisional funding allocations this morning, Minister O’Brien said: “This funding will support projects in the West that will enhance quality of life for many people. The projects are all about making these areas even more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest.
“The projects I’m announcing today contain a mix of aims, all supporting the Government’s national planning objectives. Galway’s projects will result in more sustainable transport and compact growth in the city and will provide new opportunities for residential and employment growth. These projects will also help the city transition to a low-carbon future. The projects for the city’s Innovation and Creativity District and for Oranmore will enable future development and opportunities in these areas.
“Castlebar will see significant transformation through the Historic Core Project. It will provide new opportunities for the town, for innovation, and, through the public realm and urban core works, for those who work, live and visit the town.
The multi-faceted project in Roscommon Town, with its emphasis on placemaking and infrastructure, will bring added vibrancy. The creation of pedestrian and cycle routes will help create a low-carbon in the future. Overall, I believe this funding can be a catalyst for regeneration, development and growth. It will also provide much-needed economic stimulus and job creation in the West as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic.”
Minister O’Brien added: “Compact growth was the focus of this round of URDF funding. The projects the Government is funding are geared towards sustainable growth of our urban settlements, supported by jobs, houses, services and amenities, as envisaged by the National Planning Framework. As well as compact growth, the fund supports our other national planning aims. In that sense the URDF is a unique approach to Government funding. Whilst many Government-funded programmes are for specific types of projects, the URDF funds a diverse set of integrated projects with integrated aims. I look forward to working with Galway City, and Galway, Mayo and Roscommon County Councils to progress these important projects.”
The Minister concluded: “I understand there will be some disappointment in terms of projects which were unsuccessful and my Department will engage with local authorities and provide feedback in respect of unsuccessful proposals.”
The projects were chosen after a rigorous assessment process, overseen by a project advisory board consisting of Government departments, State agencies and national and international experts in areas such as building, architecture and planning. In total, the department received 76 project proposals. Each local authority submitted at least one application. Today’s announcement honours the Programme for Government commitment to continue the URDF.
Note to editors
Galway City Council projects
Galway City Council Transport Connectivity Project - €40.30 million
The Galway City Council Transport Connectivity project focuses on connectivity, permeability, facilitating compact growth and creating multi-modal connections that will support an employment-based population while factoring in the population’s future climate adaptation needs. The project encompasses four transport-based sub-projects that will act as a catalyst for sustainable, compact growth in Galway City and County. These are:
Ceannt Quarter Regeneration – Brownfield regeneration scheme comprising of redevelopment of Ceannt Station. It will result in an integrated transport hub in the heart of Galway City Centre.
A ‘transport requirement study’ on the north lands. This will inform a strategy for future transport development needs.
Galway City Cycle Network – a sustainable transport project to deliver a safe, cohesive city cycle network. It will include pedestrian facilities as part of the Galway Transport Strategy, building on work initiated in the ‘Call 1’ project.
Ardaun Access Phase 2 – This will deliver new access routes for the new suburb of Ardaun through construction, redevelopment and linkage of roads. This follows on from a component of the ‘Call 1’ ‘Ardaun Upgrade of Martin Roundabout Parade Quarter’ project.
Clifden Railway Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge – the provision of a pedestrian and cycling crossing on the old Clifden Railway Line abutments in the River Corrib.
Galway Public Spaces and Streets Project - €8.64 million
This project will provide new and improved public spaces in Galway City Centre. It focuses on five key locations that are identified in the Galway City Public Realm Strategy 2019.
The works involved will support good place-making and long-term compact growth. They will also facilitate greater residential and employment growth within the city footprint. In addition, they will contribute to wider regeneration and support the planned transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient city through measures to reduce car use, enhance biodiversity, provide sustainable drainage and flood mitigation. The works at the five key locations are:
Woodquay Regeneration Project – public realm works providing an opportunity for the creation of a new civic space, improved walkability of the city centre and linkages to the main shopping streets and public transport hubs. The project will provide good pedestrian links to the proposed Clifden Railway Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge, linking to NUI Galway (part of the Transport Connectivity ‘Call 2’ project).
Fishmarket Rejuvenation Project – public realm works to include flood defence measures, enhanced pedestrian access across the city centre, social, civic and scenic multi-use spaces along the River Corrib, linking to the proposed Greenway Network.
Cathedral Plaza Project – works will consist of reallocation of road space for bus priority and walking and cycling; the creation of a new waterfront space along the River Corrib, linking to the adjacent (proposed) Greenway Network and Riverside Walkway.
Eyre Square (North) Project – these traffic management works will rationalise and restrict vehicular movements, integrating with the Cross City Link bus priority measures. This will facilitate more space for pedestrians and accommodate both bicycle parking and bike rental stations.
City Centre Streets Project – this project will involve expansion of the city centre pedestrian zone; integration with the Cross City Link; and delivery of a priority bus corridor with improved walking and cycle measures through the city centre.
Galway Innovation and Creativity District - €4.3 million
This project will involve master planning for the development of:
a riverside campus that will regenerate this part of Galway and strengthen the linkages between business, research and a living city
performance space to enrich the artistic life of the city and unleash the creativity of cultural engagement
enhanced public realm
affordable and sustainable on-campus accommodation for students and researchers
expansion of the Galway to Connemara Greenway through the city and the university campus, to Moycullen, Oughterard and on to Clifden.
URDF funding for Galway City Council to date:
The €53.24 million in approved funding is in addition to €6.31 million in approved URDF funding for five ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Ardaun Upgrade of Martin Roundabout Parade Quarter’; ‘Sandy Road Liosbán’; ‘Cycling & Walking’; ‘Nuns Island Masterplanning’; and ‘Regeneration of Galway Inner Harbour’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €59.55 million
Galway County Council project
Oranmore Railway Station - €9.28 million
This project involves three distinct but related projects to promote sustainable growth around Oranmore Train Station. The projects will maximise the benefit of the rail infrastructure in particular and facilitate the future expansion of Oranmore as a compact development with high-quality public transport.
The project consists of three sub-projects:
railway infrastructure upgrades – this will include a 1km passing railway loop at existing Oranmore Train Station, including additional platform and associated infrastructure
detailed design of the local centre and associated car park structure, and landscaping plan, for the lands south of the train station. This will ensure appropriate integration of the infrastructural works within the existing landscape and with future built development and amenities.
a ‘study on the design development of typologies’ to implement the Urban Framework Plan.
URDF funding for Galway County Council to date:
Galway County Council submitted no projects under Call 1 in 2018.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €9.28 million
Mayo County Council projects
Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative Project - €8.53 million
This is a public realm project that will stimulate regeneration by redressing the deterioration of underutilised historic properties and backlands that frame the Mall (The Green), Castlebar’s historic urban core. The project consists of:
public realm works in the Mall, to refurbish and rejuvenate its setting and to provide an enhanced connection to other parts of the town, including the Military Barracks and Ellison Street
re-purposing the former Daly’s (Imperial) Hotel (built circa 1790) as an innovation hub. The innovation hub will be established as a centre of climate change action, environmental business-led research and the wider green and smart economy. It will form a part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Enterprise Hub Project.
re-purposing the former Castlebar Post Office (built circa 1904) as a community youth resource centre
master plan and strategic site assembly at key locations in Castlebar
Castlebar Military Barracks Project - €2.5 million
This project is a follow-on to the masterplan for the multi-phased ‘Castlebar Military Barracks project’. The project’s first phase was funded under ‘Call 1’. The Military Barracks has significant potential as a catalyst for re-energising the centre of Castlebar. This phase of the project will involve detailed design, planning and essential enabling works to existing buildings.
URDF funding for Mayo County Council to date:
The €11.03 million in approved funding is in addition to €7.38 million in approved URDF funding for three ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Ballina Innovation Quarter’, ‘Castlebar Urban Greenway Link’ and ‘Castlebar Military Barracks’
Total URDF funding approved to date: €18.40 million
Roscommon County Council Project
Roscommon Town Centre - Putting the Spokes back into the Hub - €9.2 million
This is a public realm, social and green infrastructure project aimed at strategically reimaging and developing Roscommon Town. It aims to maximise its place-making potential and create a vibrant, liveable town where people will want to live.
The project follows on from the two successful ‘Call 1’ projects that involved the preparation of frameworks, surveys, design studies and regeneration projects in Roscommon Town’s core.
The project consists of four spokes centred around the town centre/hub:
Spoke 1 – creation of a Civic Square, linking the new Linear Park on Circular Road to the Market Square and Main Street Commercial Hub
Spoke 2 - activating backlands of Main Street through pedestrian links for town centre living
Spoke 3 - development of opportunities for social infrastructure in the brownfield sites of Henry Street and Church Street
Spoke 4 - creation of pedestrian and cycle routes to create a low-carbon transport county town
URDF funding for Roscommon County Council to date:
The €9.2 million in approved funding is in addition to €5.13 million in approved URDF funding for two ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Realm Plan – Market Square and Main Street’ and ‘Roscommon Town Centre’
Total URDF funding approved to date: €14.32 million
Analysis of the Western region’s needs
Counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon comprise the Western regional area. Galway City exerts a strong influence in much of the southern part of this region. Improved connectivity and a strengthening of the urban and employment structure, supported by the URDF, will provide new opportunities for development and growth, such as the emerging Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative.
Galway is the largest urban centre in the Western regional area. It has been Ireland’s most rapidly developing urban area for half a century and is a key driver for the west of Ireland. The city is located at a pivotal point on the Atlantic Economic Corridor, from where the influence of Ireland’s southern Atlantic cities (Cork and Limerick) extends northwards.
Urban Regeneration and Development Fund
The URDF is one of four funds established under the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027. It has an allocation of €2 billion to 2027. Its aim is to support more compact and sustainable development in Ireland’s five cities and other large urban areas. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is responsible for administering the URDF.
The seven chosen projects are consistent with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.
Through the URDF, successful applicants receive targeted, integrated funding for innovative solutions to issues that have hindered urban regeneration and rejuvenation. The fund part-funds projects that will deliver a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development within the existing built-up footprints of cities and large towns.
The URDF’s significant capital investment acts as a catalyst for wider regeneration, development and growth. The IDA has already acknowledged the URDF’s important role in creating a sense of place, something considered essential for increasing Ireland’s attractiveness to foreign investment and strengthening opportunities for indigenous enterprise.
URDF ‘Call 1’ funding: The URDF is already providing assistance for major regeneration projects in Ireland’s larger urban areas. Under ‘Call 1’ of the URDF, 87 projects are being funded. Details were announced in November 2018. These projects are spread across the regions and span a number of the NPF’s objectives. The total provisional allocations to date in respect of these 87 projects is just under €300m.
URDF ‘Call 2’ funding: a second call for funding proposals was announced in January 2020. It focused on (1) integrated urban developments (2) strategic development areas combining a number of elements and (3) schemes that support wider climate action objectives and quality of life factors within cities and towns. Projects aim to deliver compact growth whilst ensuring more of our urban areas become attractive and vibrant places in which to live, work, visit and invest.
More information on the URDF is available at: www.gov.ie/urdf