Limerick plan a 'landmark day' for city
The €253m package is among the largest capital programmes in the State
The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy at the Implementation plan. Photograph: Sean Curtin Photo.
The publication of the latest regeneration plans for Limerick has been described as a “landmark day” for all its citizens.
The €253 million package is among the largest capital programmes in the State, but is one tenth of the original €3 billion plan announced with much fanfare seven years ago.
The 500-page document, launched at Thomond Park yesterday, is the first time the Limerick Regeneration programme has a clear and deliverable plan, according to its authors.
Some 58 key projects have been identified across Southill, Moyross, St Mary’s Park and Ballinacurra Weston, which will see widespread refurbishment of houses alongside the construction of new units.
Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan insisted the Government was giving the programme a new impetus.
“Today is a landmark day for all the citizens of Limerick. The clear message to go out today is that the Government is firmly committed to the successful regeneration of Limerick.
“We are giving regeneration a new impetus, a new focus and look forward to the acceleration of the construction projects throughout the city.”
When asked about widespread criticism over the delay in delivering regeneration in some of Limerick’s most deprived housing estates, Ms O’Sullivan admitted it was justified.
“I think the criticism was justified there was a delay over years but what we have now is a very clear plan,” she said.
“This is an exciting time for Limerick. I believe there is a real spirit of optimism in the city. This is not to dismiss the major problems that exist.
“However, I do believe that together we have the resolve to overcome these challenges and achieve the potential that we know exists in our communities.”
The framework implementation plan anticipates an average of €28 million per year invested over the term of this Government and beyond, with the funding drawn from the exchequer, European funding, the voluntary housing sector and the private sector.
The plan will also dovetail with the Limerick 2030 economic plan designed to revitalise the city and countywide economy.
Limerick city and county manager Conn Murray said that after a challenging start for the project, not least due to the economic decline, the overall regeneration programme now has a practical and deliverable framework.
“A key strength of what is being set out today is that the plan is evidence-based. Our Office of Regeneration staff have listened to the communities, taken on board their needs and this plan is very much framed on that feedback. The consultation will continue with a six-week period for final submissions,” Mr Murray said.
The single largest spend in the overall implementation plan will be €40 million on the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Distributor Road.
In the Southill and Ballinacurra Weston areas, some €16 million will be spent on the refurbishment of public and private houses.
There will be an investment of €15 million on elderly and conventional housing at Lord Edward Street.