A FORMER Lord Mayor of Cork has called on City Hall to tap into government funding to get the Marina Park project up and running.
The next phase of the park project is due to start next month and Cllr Des Cahill is urging Cork City Council to avail of the Urban Regeneration & Development scheme to push it over the line.
The deadline for applications for the state funding is the end of this month, with €100 million available for shovel-ready projects.
Mr Cahill has now tabled a motion calling on Cork City Council to include Marina Park in its application, suggesting that the development can act as an impetus for residential development in the south docklands.
The former Lord Mayor said that the park project can be a major amenity in the city.
He said: “The revamp of the old showgrounds, the Atlantic Pond, a vast green space, as well as a playground area and a site on the marina for a multi-use water sports centre can really kick-start residential development. 20,000 people are expected to live in the south docklands and Marina Park can make this a fantastic amenity for the new residents, as well as those already living in the greater Blackrock area.”
Mr Cahill added that it could also spur on other infrastructural developments, including the long-awaited cross river bridge connecting the north and south docks.
“Well-developed open public space is paramount to the development of a desirable, sustainable suburb in the Docklands,” he said.
“The foresight to acquire and plan Marina Park by Cork City Council is praiseworthy but the time has come to get this project built. The success of the regeneration of Blackrock village, which I am pleased to have championed, illustrates the benefits of urban regeneration.
There has been a substantial increase in activity in Blackrock, with more and more recreational users exercising in the area.”
The redevelopment of the Docklands is viewed as key to the wider Cork region, with the area potentially hosting thousands of homes and offices in the coming years.
The city needs new suburban communities for the growing population to live in, Mr Cahill added.
“The South Docklands has the space for homes to be built and a successfully funded and completed Marina Park can act as the impetus for other investment to take place and in turn create a thriving quarter for people to live, work and play by the Lee,” he said.