Last week’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) announcement for urban regeneration in Waterford will be exclusively invested in the Apple Market/Michael Street area according to new Southern Regional Chair Damien Geoghegan.
Funding, to be made available via the Urban Development Grant Scheme was announced on Monday evening last at the House of Waterford Crystal by Minister of State Paudie Coffey.
Many assumed that some part of this funding might be earmarked for the proposed North Quay redevelopment, but both Minister Coffey and Councillor Geoghegan confirmed to The Munster Express on Thursday that this shall not be the case.
Said Cllr Geoghegan: “In relation to funding that has been provided through the ERDF, announced on Monday last, the Council have planned to use that for the Michael Street redevelopment and the Apple Market area.
“This is a follow-on from the works that would have taken place in the Viking Triangle over the last number of years and we are now moving on to the next phase of that development which moves further into the centre of the city.”
The total cost of this phase of the Urban Renewal Grant Scheme has been estimated at between €8 million and €9 million, with the Council to provide matching funding on top of this.
Minister Coffey spoke about the need for the redevelopment of the North Quays and outlined the potential benefits that may arise from a long-awaited project there.
“The North Quays proposed development is one of strategic importance, not only for the city but for the region,” Minister Coffey stated.
“This project has the potential to develop new capacity for high quality office space that is identified as a potential economic driver for the city and the region by IDA and other State agencies and would give Waterford city a competitive edge in attracting Foreign and Direct Investment (FDI) in financial services to the region.”
Minister Coffey added: “There is also a very real opportunity to improve transport links and connectivity across the River Suir which would have hugely long term positive impacts on our city.”
Paudie Coffey said that the necessary funding is likely to be sourced via a new Capital Investment Programme for the country, adding that he hopes to secure additional funding ahead of the Budget.
He also believes that there is a good chance that the local authority’s plans on the present urban redevelopment project in the city centre will be accepted and will be in motion
“sooner rather than later”.
He said: “The project must be formally submitted to the Southern Regional Assembly for approval within the next few weeks and I expect a strong application from Waterford City & County Council will be approved and ready to go to tender in the next couple of months.”