The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, today announced €130 million in funding for four regeneration projects in the Mid-West investment region of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. 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 three local authorities, which will deliver these multi-annual projects, will receive this funding.
The projects for which URDF support have been approved are:
Announcing the provisional funding allocations this morning, Minister O’Brien said: “This funding will support projects in the Mid-West that will enhance the 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 have announced funding for today have a broad mix of objectives that support the Government's national planning aims. The project in Ennis will help create a more attractive pedestrian environment, thereby helping improving quality of life for those who live, work and visit the town.”
“Both Limerick projects are extremely exciting and will result in new opportunities such as a digital innovation cluster and a world-class waterfront along the Shannon. The Living Georgian City Programme will focus on creating new economic opportunities from derelict buildings in a city that has seen high levels of buildings vacancy over the years.”
“Everyone's future is low-carbon and the funding I am announcing for a centre of excellence for sustainable energy in Nenagh will marry the twin aims of sustainability and economic opportunity. The new centre of excellence will help the national transition to a low-carbon future, one of the Government’s national planning aims. It also has the potential to create hundreds of jobs, providing economic stimulus to Nenagh.”
“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 Mid-West as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic.”
“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 - 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 Clare, Limerick City and County, and Tipperary 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
Clare County Council project
Ennis Town Centre Public Realm Regeneration - €4.04 million
The project forms the next phase of works that will contribute to achieving an overall vision of a high quality, pedestrian-focussed public realm in the medieval core of Ennis Town centre. This project continues the regeneration work of Parnell Street and the extensive network of Lanes and Bow-ways in the town, works supported under the URDF ‘Call 1’-supported ‘Parnell Street and the Lanes and Bow-ways’ project.
Works in this phase include:
URDF funding for Clare County Council to date:
The €4.04 million in approved funding is in addition to €4.10 million in approved URDF funding for three ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘The Venue Shannon (Strategic Masterplan)’; ‘Parnell Street and the Lanes and Bow-ways’; and ‘Barrack Square and Old Barrack Street and O’Connell Square and High Street’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €8.14 million
Limerick City and County Council project
Worldclass Waterfront - €73.4 million
This is a follow-on capital element to feasibility and design works supported under the URDF’s ‘Call 1’ to develop a world class waterfront along the River Shannon close to the city centre.
This project includes:
This project is about making positive, innovative and transformational change to revitalise the centre of Limerick City and supporting the objective of compact growth in a holistic and strategic manner. It is an integrated programme of urban development that will be underpinned by a programme of innovative collaboration.
The city centre is a key piece of architectural and cultural heritage. It is the driver of economic growth for the region. Over recent times it has suffered from high levels of vacancy, under-use and under-investment. Its revitalisation is identified as a transformational project in the Limerick 2030 Plan 2014.
The works to be supported include:
The €116.01 million in approved funding is in addition to €9.68 million in approved URDF funding for seven ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘O'Connell Street’; ‘Digital Collaboration and Virtual Reality Centre’; ‘Worldclass Waterfront’; ‘Social and Economic Model’; ‘Living Georgian City Programme’; ‘Opera Project (Site enabling)’; ‘Digital District (Inner City Digital Hub)’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €125.70 million
Tipperary County Council project
A Pathway to a Low-Carbon Society: A Centre for Excellence for Sustainable Energy for transformational urban regeneration of Nenagh Town Centre –
This project has been developed as a direct, collaborative and innovative response to deliver on the objectives of Project Ireland 2040 and the Government’s Climate Action Plan. It is a transformative public-private urban regeneration project that builds on the established economic cluster of sustainable energy agencies, businesses and professionals in Nenagh, Tipperary and the region. The project also seeks to put in place public infrastructure, civic spaces and public realm enhancement to consolidate the linkages to the town centre.
The works to be supported under this Call 2 project include:
URDF funding for Tipperary County Council to date:
The €9.52 million in approved funding is in addition to €15.98 million in approved URDF funding for two ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Liberty Square Thurles’ and ‘Clonmel’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €25.51 million
Analysis of the Mid-West region’s needs
Counties Clare, Limerick and much of County Tipperary comprise the Mid-West regional area, focused on Limerick City and the River Shannon estuary. The region also extends into the northern part of County Kerry. Although focused on Limerick City and key employment and infrastructure assets at Shannon and Foynes, this regional area is supported by a strong rural economy and a varied network of towns and villages. Future growth will be based on leveraging national and international connectivity, higher education capacity and quality of life to secure strategic investment. This must be underpinned by strengthening Limerick and the urban cores of the county towns.
Urban Regeneration and Development Fund