Revitalising Cork – Taoiseach and O’Brien announce €405 million for Regeneration Projects in City and County
Revitalising Cork – Taoiseach and O’Brien announce €405 million for Regeneration Projects in City and County
- €353 million to be invested in Cork Docklands Project
- €47 million Grand Parade project includes new 7,700m² city library with aim of 1 million visits a year
- Funding for Mallow Town Centre renewal
- €1.3 billion total investment across Ireland through URDF ‘Call 2’ funding
An Taoiseach, Michéal Martin TD, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, have today announced €405 million in funding for four regeneration projects in Co. Cork.
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. Cork City Council and Cork County Council, which will deliver these multi-annual projects, will receive this funding.
The projects which will be supported under the URDF are:
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will now contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. Today’s announcement concludes the total URDF ‘Call 2’ allocations with a total of €1.306 billion being allocated across the country.
Announcing the funding allocations for Co. Cork this morning, An Taoiseach Michéal Martin said: “This significant investment of over €400m we are announcing today is a game changer for Cork and positions the city for major growth over the next decades.
“It’s all about making Cork City and County even better places in which to work, live, visit and invest. The Cork City Docklands Project investment of €353m will transform the recreational, residential and commercial areas, and prime the docklands for significant follow up private sector development.
“It provides funding for the new Marina Park, it provides funding for cycleways, walkways and the Eastern Gateway Bridge, which will further improve connectivity.
“The investment will transform the Grand Parade with over €50m for a new public library, a new central plaza and boardwalk to facilitate cultural and recreational activities – making it one of the most attractive features in the centre of our city.
“It underpins the strategy of creating strong regional cities outside Dublin, with significant funding also for Mallow town centre regeneration, Passage West, Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline Harbour Cluster.”
Minister O’Brien added: “Urban renewal is at the heart of our funding announcement for Cork today. At their heart, these projects aim to enhance people’s quality of life and support sustainable development. I look forward to working with Cork City and Cork County Councils to progress these important projects.”
Commenting on the overall ‘Call 2’ URDF funding allocations for the nine investment regions made over the past two weeks, Minister O’Brien said. “Over the past fortnight we have announced a total of €1.3 billion in funding for a range of projects right across the country. Our focus in this round of URDF funding is compact growth. That means achieving residential and commercial growth in our larger urban settlements, supported by jobs, houses, services and amenities. I’ve been energised by the quality of projects we’re funding - funding that can be a catalyst for regeneration, development and growth. It will also provide much-needed economic stimulus and job creation across the country as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic,” he concluded.
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
Cork City Council projects
Cork City Docklands - €353.40 million
This project will unlock Cork City Docklands potential to develop as a vibrant, top-class district that will attract investment in mixed-use development, leisure and cultural facilities. The development of Cork City Docklands is a key element of Cork City’s ambitious plans to achieve compact urban growth. The works to be supported include:
Grand Parade Quarter - €46.05 million
This project will bring about the regeneration of the Grand Parade Quarter, an underutilised area of Cork City. This is the follow-on capital element to the design phase project supported by the URDF ‘Call 1’ funding. The development of the Grand Parade Quarter will be transformative and will combine with other complementary developments in the area to create a vibrant quarter where culture and learning acts as a catalyst for business and tourism. Works will include:
URDF funding for Cork City Council to date:
The €399.45 million in approved funding is in addition to €3.42 million in approved URDF funding for four ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Beamish and Crawford / Grand Parade Quarter’; ‘Cork City Docklands’; and ‘Kent Station Yard (Site enabling)’ and ‘Tivoli Docks’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €402.88 million
Cork County Council projects
Mallow Town Centre Regeneration - €4.70 million
This project’s overarching aim is stimulating town centre renewal and creating a more liveable and attractive town centre.
This project supports the delivery of key, strategic town centre transformative projects targeted in Mallow town, along with two pilot schemes. The two pilot schemes involve building re-use interventions in order to assess if such interventions can stimulate private sector interest and/or activity, to address some of the key challenges facing town centres. Works to be supported include:
· Mallow Castle Visitor Destination Development – appointment of a design team to progress the design and business case for the development of a visitor destination development at Mallow Castle.
· Mallow Main Street Public Realm – design team to develop an overall public realm plan for Davis Street and key laneways in Mallow town. This will animate and create an attractive, vibrant and welcoming sense of place in Mallow Town Centre. It will improve linkages between key services and amenities. The public realm plan will have a specific focus on developing Mallow’s overall “place-making” identity through the development of key anchor, heritage-led visual interpretative elements.
· Pilot retail/commercial incubator scheme – to incentivise the establishment of new independent retailers and/or offices in Mallow town centre.
· Pilot vacant property/brownfield redevelopment scheme – to support the financial viability and regeneration of town centre vacant property/brownfield sites for energy efficient or zero-carbon social infrastructure developments.
Passage West - Ringaskiddy - Carrigaline Harbour Cluster - €817,500
This project covers project planning and design and the initial site assembly to facilitate the future delivery of a suite of co-ordinated and linked transformative projects. Those projects will be targeted at the towns of Carrigaline and Passage West, which, together with Ringaskiddy, form a key spatial cluster adjoining Cork Harbour. Works include:
URDF funding for Cork County Council to date:
The €5.52 million in approved funding is in addition to €10.94 million in approved URDF funding for seven ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Carrigaline Western Relief Road’; ‘Midleton Main Street Public Realm Improvements’; and ‘Midleton Permeability Package of Proposals’; ‘Cobh UEA - Public Realm - Diaspora Centre’; ‘Carrigaline Public Realm’; ‘Carrigtwohill’ and ‘Mallow Town Regeneration’
Total URDF funding approved to date: €16.46 million
Analysis of Cork needs
Cork already performs well as a major urban centre in Ireland. The city has positioned itself as an emerging medium-sized European centre of growth and innovation. Building on this potential is critical to further enhancing Ireland’s metropolitan profile. One of the greatest challenges in achieving significant growth that will move the Cork metropolitan region to the next level is addressing the long-term decline of the City’s urban population. There is positive evidence of this trend changing in the 2016 Census but it will continue to be important to attract additional people and jobs to existing, established parts of the City.
It is also necessary to grow and diversify Cork’s towns. A key part of addressing this is an enhanced urban environment. This includes better housing choice and quality, new employment locations, improved public spaces, enhanced public transport as well as safe and pleasant options for walking and cycling.
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. Funding is aimed at projects that support the NDP objectives and the NPF’s ten ‘national strategic outcomes’, which include compact growth; enhanced regional accessibility; and sustainable mobility. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is responsible for administering the URDF.
The four chosen projects are consistent with the Southern Regional Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy and the Cork Area Strategic Plan.
· 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. Minister O’Brien has announced a total of €1.3 billion funding across the nine Project Ireland investment regions under ‘Call 2’.
· More information on the URDF is available at: www.gov.ie/urdf