€437m allocated for Regeneration Projects in Cork and Kerry


– €353m to be invested in Cork Docklands Project

– Project in Tralee to develop ‘Market Quarter’ as part of effort to unlock residential and commercial development

Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, has announced €437m in funding for six regeneration projects in the south-west investment region of Cork and Kerry.

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:

– Cork City Docklands (Cork City Council) – €353.4m

– Grand Parade Quarter (Cork City Council) – €46.05m

– Mallow Town Centre Regeneration (Cork County Council) – €4.7m

– Passage West – Ringaskiddy – Carrigaline Harbour Cluster (Cork County Council) – €817,500

– Destination Killarney (Kerry County Council) – €16.06m

– Positioning Tralee as a Regional Economic Driver & Destination Town (Kerry County Council) – €15.93m

A Department spokesperson has said it will contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. 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 this morning, Minister O’Brien said, “This funding will support projects in Cork and Kerry 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 Government is today committing to funding two major regeneration projects in Cork City that can transform areas of great potential into vibrant places, underpinned by essential infrastructure that is being provided by the URDF.

“Town centre renewal is the focus of the project the Government is funding in Mallow. The public realm plan for the town will help improve linkages between key services and amenities. The project’s pilot scheme to incentivise the establishment of new independent retailers or offices in the town centre provides economic opportunity.”

Cork City Council projects

Cork City Docklands – €353.40m

The Cork City Docklands 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:

  • Strategic Public Realm and Parks and Facilities – Significant public realm works at Cork City Docklands. These will include the development of Marina Park, provision of a public realm space at the quays, and supporting site assembly to deliver green spaces for active and passive sports and recreation.
  • Strategic Surface Water Drainage and Flood Protection – Protection of the docklands from flooding by investing in drainage and flood protection measures that respect the history and heritage of the area. The measures will primarily use nature-based solutions and existing infrastructure.
  • Transportation and Access – Enhanced mobility in the docklands through investment in key significant strategic transport infrastructure to optimise the capacity of road, walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure, which includes both the Eastern Gateway Bridge and Kent Station Bridge/Link Road. This is with a view to achieving a very high proportion of sustainable transport modes for the docklands area.
  • Associated feasibility studies, project development, and project management supports to facilitate timely implementation.

Grand Parade Quarter – €46.05m

The Grand Parade Quarter 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 act as catalysts for business and tourism. Works will include:

  • City Library – The Grand Parade has traditionally been the home of Cork’s City Library. The existing library is dated and too small to achieve the potential for a library in a UNESCO Learning City. It is proposed to develop a 7,700 sq m library in a well-designed iconic building that embraces its riverside location. A target of 1 million visits per annum is set for the new library, which is achievable given the location, scale and range of activities proposed for the New City Library. It is also proposed to provide a 1,600 sq m’ Sanctuary Garden’ on the library’s rooftop. This will be accessible to all through library membership and will be a secure place for older people and people with disabilities to enjoy Cork’s urban biodiversity.
  • Bishop Lucey Park – Rejuvenate Bishop Lucey Park as an important amenity in Cork city.
  • Public Realm – the public realm will include a public plaza, boardwalk and accessible infrastructure that will enhance the experience of the overall Grand Parade area and its connectivity and permeability.

Kerry County Council projects

Destination Killarney – €16.06m

The Destination Killarney project seeks to mirror the world-class natural environment that is Killarney National Park with an exceptional urban experience that sets Killarney apart as a tourism destination.

The project seeks to interweave the fabric of the urban core of Killarney seamlessly into the National Park through a series of interrelated transport and public realm improvements and a traffic management strategy that removes as far as possible transitory traffic from the urban core. This project seeks to expand and diversify the town’s core by creating an authentic tourist experience through the following works:

  • Regeneration of derelict Town Centre Site (Áras Phádraig) to provide a community-centric, cultural hub including a theatre, with additional parking to support the compact growth of the town and the integration of its community. It will create a public amenity space for the promotion of community and will enhance the Arts/Cultural Heritage Experience.
  • Enhancing and extending the “Authentic” Killarney Offer – development and promotion of Killarney’s local craft through the designation of the Glebe Craft quarter in the town centre; enhancement of the arts/cultural heritage experience through the development of the Áras Phádraig site, with improved links to the recently redeveloped Anam Building and Killarney House.
  • Public Realm improvements at Beech Road, College Street and New Street/High Street to leverage the visitor potential of the natural and built heritage and the uniqueness of the ‘town in the park’ proposition.

Positioning Tralee as a Regional Economic Driver & Destination Town – €15.93m

This project supports major areas of intervention for Tralee in relation to its economic growth. The major challenge facing the town is creating opportunities for private sector investment in mixed-use development and making these opportunities an attractive proposition for the private sector. This project continues on the work of the successful URDF ‘Call 1’-funded project (‘Phase 1 Tralee Town Centre – Rock Street, Russell Street and Bridge Street’). Works to be supported include:

  • Completion of phase 3 of Tralee Town Centre Public Realm, which will result in the primary streets of the central area being finished to a high standard. The public realm will link the major retail areas of the Mall, Castle Street and Lower Rock Street to the Island of Geese and strengthen the links to the Town Park through St John’s Church Plaza.
  • Develop ‘Tralee’s Market Quarter to create an attractive Market Quarter linking the recently upgraded Ashe Hotel and the multi-storey car park to the Mall. Significant opportunities exist for unlocking the potential for both residential and commercial development in vacant and derelict areas.
  • Austin Stack Football Stadium Plaza – Redevelopment of the entire area, including the road layout to create a ‘landmark’ entry point to the town centre, celebrating the town’s rich sporting history.
  • Site Assembly – Strategic site assembly of key areas to address dereliction in the town core.
  • Island of Geese centre – Develop multi-purpose community space.
  • Innovation District – Feasibility study to explore the development of an Innovation District.
  • John Joe Sheehy Road area – develop a Master Plan for the area.
  • All-weather performance/civic space facilitating the detailed design and planning of an all-weather performance/civic space.
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