One Big Step for Our City

Eoghan Dalton Reports

The Waterford City and County Council CEO has said that the funding announcement for the redevelopment of the North Quays is a “big step” in the right direction, but cautioned that there are still several stages to go.
“Is this a watershed moment? It’s a great help, is the way I’d put it,” said Mr Walsh on Friday last. We were partially expecting [the funding] so we’re not exactly jumping up and down. If there are four or five big steps in this then this is one big step. We’ll jump up and down a little bit when we see the first cranes on the North Quays.”
Also included in the Government’s ‘Project Ireland 2040′ project are funding commitments for University Hospital Waterford and Waterford Airport as well as improvements to the N24 Waterford to Limerick and the N25 Waterford to Cork roads.

The North Quay project took a significant step forward following the Government's announcement on Friday last.

The North Quay project took a significant step forward following the Government's announcement on Friday last.

The county’s towns and villages are also in line to receive a cash injection. Meanwhile, some of the €2 billion nationwide Urban Regeneration Fund will also be made available for Waterford city. A second bridge for motor traffic is expected to be constructed in the next five to 10 years as well.
As part of Fawaz Alhokair’s contract with the Council, work will begin in parallel on the long-proposed shopping centre in the Michael Street area. Waterford Business Group members believe this will balance the city’s retail offering following the North Quays development.

Overall the cost for infrastructure will be over €60 million while the development cost is expected to be €300 million. “The broad intention is that it’ll fund the infrastructural requirement that’s attaching the city centre access requirement. There’s a broad swathe of activity there that the funds will go towards.”
Senator Paudie Coffey (FG) hailed last Friday’s announcement as “the beginning of a new era” for the
city and county.
“Waterford city will now have access to crucial capital investment needed to develop critical infrastructure to build capacity and scale so that it becomes the regional driver for economic success within the South East region.”
He added: “This plan is very different from previous development plans like the National Spatial Strategy – this plan will put the capital investment behind the planning framework priorities and drive urban growth in cities such as Waterford, which will in turn benefit its hinterlands and the greater region and catchment surrounding it.
“This investment will transform Waterford and leverage its full potential from an economic, social, educational and healthcare perspective.”

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