Waterford is to receive €7.35 million under the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).
88 projects nationally were allocated funding from a total of €100 million available under round one of the funding.
€1.35 million is for the regeneration of Tramore town centre, while €6 million is for the construction of the pedestrian bridge linking the city’s North and South Quays.
It’s largest single allocation from the fund.
Minister Halligan said the bridge is one of the most critical pieces of enabling infrastructure for the redevelopment of the North Quays:
“In providing a link between the North Quays and the city centre, this new bridge will ensure vital connectivity between the existing and proposed shopping districts. The potential is immense: this key piece of infrastructure is the first building block in a multi-million euro project that has the potential to transform our city, not just physically but also from an economic and social perspective.”
However, Waterford Council had sought initial funding of €20.1 million to support the north quays development.
Local Fianna Fail Cllr Eddie Mulligan described the allocation as “an utter and complete insult to the people of Waterford City and the South East”.
“The North Quays project is listed in the Project 2040 as a key enabler as a part of the National Planning Framework and the Government are constantly side stepping their commitment to the full circa €105m infrastructural requirements! This €6m is less than 6% of the requested project amount on what is being stated as a 3 to 4 year project! As a minimum, initial commitments should have been in the Region of €20m for Year 1, 2019!”
Waterford Minister of State John Halligan says although it is less than hoped for, it is still a significant amount of money:
“What you have to remember is the total fund was only 100 million with 88 projects, so it was extremely difficult to take a huge big chunk of the fund and give it to one area. But the Government have made it clear that two issues: one that this is the biggest funding allocation; that further money will be made available to the North Quays, a significant amount. So this is just the start of it with a lot more to come.”
Senator Paudie Coffey who played a key role in getting the North Quays site designated as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) said the next tranche of funding can be applied for in February 2019.
The Waterford Fine Gael General Election candidate said: “This is first stepping-stone in terms of the overall funding for the North Quays, and this will be backed up by further funding as the development progresses over the coming months and years.”
Meanwhile, the funding for the regeneration of Tramore has been roundly welcomed.
Independent Councillor Joe Conway said he was “really gratified” to have the €1.35 million secured.
“These Public Realm Regeneration and Development Funds will transform a town that was starved of investment during the Dungarvan hegemony in the old County Council.
The renewal project will include work to minimise dereliction, rejuvenate Main Street and make the town more visitor and disability accessible.”