Irish urban areas to benefit from €40m in EU funding

Nineteen towns and cities are to receive money under regeneration programme

The Dún Laoghaire baths are among the projects that will benefit from a new EU fund for Irish urban regeneration projects. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Dún Laoghaire baths are among the projects that will benefit from a new EU fund for Irish urban regeneration projects. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


Some 19 towns and cities, previously designated as “gateways” and “hubs” under the National Spatial Strategy, are to benefit from a €40 million EU fund for Irish urban regeneration projects.

Almost all the gateway and hub towns, now renamed Designated Urban Centres, are to receive a share of the fund, while each of the four Dublin local authority areas will get money.

However, five hub towns have been left out, with no money allocated to Cavan town, Monaghan town, Tuam, Ballina and Castlebar.

The gateway and hub towns must match their share of the funding with their own resources.

The largest tranche of funding, €7 million, has been allocated to projects in Dublin, shared out among Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Fingal County Council.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said that during funding negotiations the European Commission stressed the need for “projects of scale”.

The commission suggested that in the border midlands and west (BMW) region funding should only be provided for “cities and major urban centres”.

As a result, the Department of the Environment agreed to include only the larger “gateway” towns and exclude hubs in the BMW region in the funding plan.

However, in the south and east, all gateway and hub towns are to receive funding.

Dublin projects

In Dublin city, €2.94 million will go towards the development of a pedestrian and cyclist bridge across the River Liffey at Forbes Street, a project with a total estimated cost of €17 million.

In Dún Laoghaire, the redevelopment of the disused baths as a café, gallery and artists’ studios will receive €1.12 million in funding.

In south Dublin, the Dodder Valley Greenway cycle route will get €1.5 million.

The same amount has been allocated for a number heritage projects in Swords, including improvements to Swords Castle.

The largest single award of funding will go to Limerick city, with €4.1 million allocated for improving the “public realm” in O’Connell Street.

Waterford city is also getting significant funding, with €4 million allocated for the “continued regeneration of the city centre”, building on the previous regeneration of the city’s Viking Triangle.

Cork city has been allocated €3.5 million to develop the Marina Park area, while Mallow has been been granted €1 million to redevelop its town hall as an arts and cultural centre.

A report commissioned by the department, due to be published in the coming weeks, has said that a new National Spatial Strategy needed to focus on spatial development issues and choices which are “genuinely national in scope and scale”.

Speaking on Tuesday, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said the previous strategy had been “very politically driven” and the new strategy would “reflect what was needed in the country”.

List of grants

Cork County Council - Redevelopment of Mallow Town Hall - €1 million to redevelop the hall as an arts and cultural centre.

Kilkenny County Council - Abbey Creative Quarter Project - €1 million to revitalise and regenerate the former Smithwick’s Brewery site area, to develop a linear park and public realm spaces and provide streets with pedestrian and cyclist priority.

Waterford County Council - €4 million for public realm regeneration of Waterford city urban core.

Wexford County Council - Redevelopment of City Quays Area - €1million for upgrades to Wexford Quays, including Trinity Wharf and related public realm areas.

Cork City Gateway - Marina Park - €3.5 million to develop Marina Park area, and the environmental enhancement of Monahan Road link with the Marina Park area.

Cork City Gateway - Harley Street pedestrian/cycle bridge - €1.5 million to provide a dedicated cycle and pedestrian bridge across the North Channel of the River Lee.

Limerick Gateway - Urban centre revitalisation - €4.1 million for improved public realm, widened footpaths, re-aligned bus corridors and better traffic management.

Limerick Gateway - Redesign Rineanna Park - €400,000 for circulation footpaths linking town centre with schools, community facilities and walks.

Kerry County Council - Tralee Town Centre West - €1.5 million for the urban development project.

South Dublin County Council - Dodder Valley Greenway - €1.47 million to complete two phases of the scheme.

Dublin City Council - Forbes Street pedestrian and cyclist bridge - €2.94 million to provide an architecturally sensitive bridge to improve pedestrian and cyclist flow and access to this part of the city.

Fingal County Council - Swords Castle Cultural and Civic Quarter - €1.47 million to upgrade the castle and surrounding buildings and to regenerate the area.

Dún Laoghaire -Rathdown County Council - Dún Laoghaire Baths - €1.12 million to retain the baths, to migrate pedestrian footfall to the town centre, to create pedestrian and cycle routes to the town centre and to provide new swimming facilities and jetty.

Clare - Ennis library - €1 million for the construction of a new county library.

Athlone - Church Street - €1.5 million for the enhancement of the street.

Dundalk - €2 million for the Clanbrassil Street and St Nicholas Quarter Rejuvenation Scheme.

Galway - Galway City Library and Cultural Centre - €3.5 million to build a city library and cultural centre.

Letterkenny - Joe Bonner Link Road - €750,000 to upgrade link road to enhance walking and cycling infrastructure.

Letterkenny- Social Enterprise Building - €1 million for a new building.

Letterkenny - Town Centre Linkages - €250,000 to upgrade footpaths and enhance walking infrastructure.

Mullingar - €1.5 million for the enhancement of Mullingar Town Centre civic areas.

Sligo - € 1,25 million for the enhancement of O’Connell Street.

Sligo - Cranmore Services Centre - €750,000 for the provision of a new community centre.

Tullamore - €1.5 million for Tullamore Street Enhancement Project and Millennium Square to Distillery Lane pedestrian bridge and walkway.