COUNTY Hall has made a significant move to secure funding for the UCC Science Park, the construction of the Carrigaline Western Relief Road, upgrades to Fota Wildlife Park and the potential purchase of the Victoria Docks in Passage West.
Applications for funding several major projects have been made by Cork County Council under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) according to an email circulated to all 55 county councillors this week.
The local authority is seeking €15.8m for the Science Park for which it plans to match with €5.3 of its own funds.
An application has also been made for €6.15m for the long-awaited Carrigaline Western Relief Road which is estimated to cost €8.2m.
The Council is also seeking €12m in funding for the development of new attractions at Fota Wildlife Park with the park itself expected to provide another €4m for upgrades.
If applications are granted, the Council will also use URDF funding for a €2.6m upgrade of Main Street in Midleton.
Four separate applications have also been made for a raft of developments in Cork Harbour including a pedestrian bridge between Haulbowline and Spike Island and the regeneration of the Victoria Docks in Passage West.
Councillor Seamus McGrath said the funding applications contain some “very worthy” projects.
“Funding allocations are expected next month,” he said.
“It would be fantastic to be able to progress these projects in 2019, including going to construction on the Carrigaline Relief Road,” he added.
TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire welcomed news of the funding applications too. He noted that the Passage Docks project, in particular, has the potential to 'completely transform the town.'
“I am really encouraged and excited by the news that Cork County Council has applied to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) for funding to purchase the dockyards and to produce a design for regeneration. This is the ambition that is needed for the town.
“No money has been given yet, but I will be doing all I can to support this application. It can totally open up the town, out on to the water, and can be a huge positive. I believe decisions are due in a few weeks, and I hope that it will be looked favourably upon," he added.
The URDF has been established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns with populations greater than 10,000, in line with the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.
The objective of the new fund is to enable a greater proportion of housing and commercial development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of cities and towns.
The value of the URDF is €2 billion for the next ten years, with €100 million available for expenditure in 2019.