City chief disappointed by urban renewal fund allocation

City chief disappointed by urban renewal fund allocation
Grand Parade, Cork. The revamping of the area was one of the proposals included in City Hall's application under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.Picture: Denis Minihane.

CORK City Council chief executive Ann Doherty has described the award made to Cork under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund as ‘disappointing’.

Just €7 million of a pot of €100 million was allocated for key projects in Cork city and county.

The funding was announced in late November, and marked the first of a series of allocations due in the coming years.

The successful projects in the city were the docklands and the Grand Parade quarter, though City Hall had also sought money for the development of the north-east orbital road, Marina Park, and Tramore Valley Park. The successful ones are part of a group of eight in the city and county which will share just €3.5 million.

Other Cork projects granted funding under the scheme include the Carrigaline relief road, the Midleton street upgrade, and the Passage West dockyards.

The Port of Cork has also secured funding for Tivoli Docks.

In addition to missing out on key funds, Ms Doherty was critical of the lack of clarity surrounding the allocations to date.

It is understood that a meeting is due to take place in the new year when department officials will brief local authorities on what elements of projects will actually be funded but, as yet, little information has been made available.

Ms Doherty said: “There isn’t huge clarity about what we got. It identifies the south docklands and the Grand Parade quarter as successful applicants, but we are still waiting to be told exactly what pieces of those are being funded.

“For the Grand Parade quarter, for example, we had quite an extensive list of things we wanted funded but it isn’t all being covered.”

Ms Doherty said that it was disappointing given the growth planned for Cork in the coming decades.

“We are delighted to be getting some support, but I am disappointed in the context of the national declaration of the role of Cork as a real alternative to Dublin and its priority in the National Planning Framework, as well as the Taoiseach’s language about Cork being key to Ireland’s success.

“I would have hoped that the outcome would have been greater.

“But, I am mindful that it is simply the first call, and that more funds will be made available in the coming years.

“I would be hopeful that we would see far more monies coming to Cork so that we can realise those ambitious targets which have been set for us.”

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