€28 funding for Waterford to help revitalise Cultural Quarter and Viking Triangle
Abbey Quarter Project’s second phase funded
Carlow Town project to focus on improved mobility; Trinity Wharf, Wexford to be redeveloped
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, today announced €74 million in funding for five regeneration projects in the South-East investment region of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. 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:
Public Realm and Pedestrian Linkage Project Carlow Town (Carlow County Council) – €9.79 million
Abbey Quarter Phase 2 (Advancement Project) (Kilkenny County Council) – €11.46 million
Kilkenny City Centre Enhanced Liveability Project – €6.64 million
Waterford City Centre Regeneration (Waterford City and County Council) – €27.66 million
Trinity Wharf (Wexford County Council) – €18.49 million
The Department will now contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. Today’s announcement brings the total approved URDF funding for this investment region to date to €165.59 million. Details of the remaining provisional funding allocations for ‘Call 2’ URDF projects in other Project Ireland 2040 investment regions, not already announced, will be announced later this 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 allocations Minister O’Brien said: “This funding will support projects in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford that will enhance quality of life for many people. The projects are all about making these areas more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest. The URDF funding we are announcing for Waterford today will help regenerate two areas in the city, demonstrating the Government’s ambition for Waterford to be a ‘Regional City of Scale’, as stated in the National Planning Framework. This ambition is already evidenced by the €80.6 million in funding for the North Quays project, which we announced last year.
“Wexford will also see redevelopment of an area with significant potential. The Trinity Wharf project, with its plans for retail, cultural, hotel and commercial development, can enhance Wexford as a location in which to live, work and visit. Improved quality of life and attractiveness as a place to work will help prevent future growth involving people commuting from Wexford to Dublin for work.”
Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, added: “The URDF funding for projects in Carlow and Kilkenny that we are announcing today is evidence of this Government’s commitment to improving quality of life in urban centres, making them more accessible, inclusive and liveable. Funding for the ‘Enhanced Liveability’ and Abbey Quarter public realm projects demonstrates our support for Kilkenny’s ambition to become a ’10 minute’ city and where ‘placemaking’ is creating a new vibrancy within the historic centre. Carlow town’s project is a good example of how the URDF can support the implementation of a vision as set out in ‘Project Carlow 2040’, where good urban planning can progress heritage-led regeneration, better liveability and enhance urban biodiversity. We see the URDF as a key catalyst in our ‘Town Centres First’ policy approach, to realise a vibrant and durable future for our unique Irish towns.”
Minister O’Brien added: “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 Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford 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. 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 the local authorities in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford to progress these important projects.”
“I understand there will be some disappointment in terms of projects which were unsuccessful. My Department will engage with and work with local in respect of unsuccessful proposals,” 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
Carlow County Council project
Public Realm and Pedestrian Linkage Project Carlow Town – €9.79 million
This project will provide Carlow Town with plentiful, accessible and exciting public spaces that people can use all year round. It will also improve town centre linkages and increase pedestrian mobility from the town centre to Carlow College and the railway station.
The goal is to help more people spend more time outdoors together in an attractive urban setting. By improving the setting’s quality and enhancing accessibility to public open spaces, the project seeks to produce multi-functional benefits including health and wellbeing, sustainable transport, greater biodiversity and opportunities for recreation.
This project is the follow-on capital works to the related Master Plan from the successful URDF ‘Call 1’-funded ‘Funding for Master plan for Carlow Town Centre’ project. The project includes the following elements:
URDF funding for Carlow:
The €9.79 million in approved funding is in addition to €580,000 in approved funding for the ‘Call 1’ project, ‘Funding for Master plan for Carlow Town Centre’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €10.37 million
Kilkenny County Council projects
Abbey Quarter Phase 2 (Advancement Project) – €11.46 million
This project entails the second phase of the Abbey Quarter project and builds on the first phase works initiated under the successful URDF ‘Call 1’-funded project. The second phase involves five complementary sub-projects covering public realm improvements, accessibility and regeneration of the Abbey Quarter:
Kilkenny City Centre Enhanced Liveability Project –€6.64 million
This project will increase the attractiveness, liveability and connectivity of Kilkenny City Centre for locals and visitors alike. It will transform the place by radically improving the streetscape and accessibility of the city centre, helping to knit together its constituent spaces and deliver the council’s objective of a compact ‘10-minute City’ and the most liveable urban centre in Ireland. The URDF will part-fund:
High Street and Rose Inn Street - improve the public realm and introduce mobility/smarter travel options and shared spaces
Ormonde Street - upgrade the streetscape and public realm to include provision of a new one-way system
St Kieran’s Street - upgrade the streetscape along the laneways and slips that connect it with High Street
St Mary’s Precinct - upgrade the streetscape and laneways
Carnegie Plaza - upgrade the public realm and the streetscape along Barrack Lane linking to John Street
URDF funding for Kilkenny:
The €18.10 million in approved funding is in addition to €6.15 million in approved URDF funding for the ‘Call 1’ ‘Abbey Quarter’ project.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €24.26 million
Waterford City and County Council projects
Waterford City Centre Regeneration – 27.66 million
The National Planning Framework contains an objective of Waterford becoming a ‘Regional City of Scale’, driving regional growth. This project consists of the important regeneration of the Historic Core and implementation of the ‘Strategic Public Realm Plan’.
The project is based on a series of planned city centre brownfield site proposals and includes works to create a cultural hub, a business hub and the re-use of key sites. It involves a wide range of interventions that will provide an attractive ‘live, work and play environment’ to draw people back into Waterford City centre in order to bring social, economic and cultural vibrancy. The concept is to cross a ‘tipping point’ whereby the city centre will provide jobs and sustain itself into the future.
The project focuses on two of Waterford City’s quarters - the Cultural Quarter and the Viking Triangle. The works are:
Cultural Quarter: Strategic site assembly in key locations. This will enable various developments, including gallery and artists’ space; community venue and education centre; a creative industries incubation hub; public realm works; pocket parks and development of outdoor performance space.
Viking Triangle: strategic site assembly in key locations to enable various developments, including public realm works, a public park and mixed-use developments.
URDF funding for Waterford:
The €27.66 million in approved funding is in addition to €82.79 million in approved URDF funding for two ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Waterford City & Environ – North Quays’ and ‘Tramore Town Centre’.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €110.45 million
Wexford County Council projects
Trinity Wharf – €18.49 million
Trinity Wharf is a brownfield site, centrally located in Wexford Town with a high amenity waterfront vista. The site is identified as a ‘Key Opportunity’ site in the ‘Wexford Town & Environs Development Plan 2009 – 2015’. Through this project, the council plans to develop Trinity Wharf as a new mixed-use urban quarter to include retail, cultural, hotel and commercial office development.
The development has the potential to bring significant economic and social benefits. It could position Wexford as a superior location to work, live and visit. This project will build on the support approved under the URDF ‘Call 1’ project for first phase development of an access road and initial enabling works. Under ‘Call 2’ the URDF will support enabling/development works including:
URDF funding for Wexford:
The €18.48 million in approved funding is in addition to €2.03 million in approved URDF funding for the ‘Call 1’ ‘Abbey Quarter’ project.
Total URDF funding approved to date: €20.51 million
Analysis of the South-East region’s needs
Although it has a strong urban structure, much of this region is rural in character and includes some of Ireland’s most productive agricultural land. Strategically located between Cork and Dublin, with a network of large towns, the south-east has capacity for improved urban growth. Regional opportunities to leverage growth include:
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 seven chosen projects are consistent with the Southern 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