Echo Comment: €405m funding a major boost for Cork but what about the Events Centre?

Echo Comment: €405m funding a major boost for Cork but what about the Events Centre?

An Taoiseach Michéal Martin during the announcement of the urban regeneration for the Cork City docklands

YESTERDAY’S urban regeneration funding announcement of €405m is a major boost for Cork City and county and the Government deserves credit for its scale and ambition.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is right to say it will be transformative and confidence has already started to surge.

The vast Docklands area will get €353m under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), which is appropriate given the intention that Cork is planned to be the fastest growing city in the country over the next 20 years.

Some 146 hectares of docklands have been earmarked to house more than 25,000 people with a mix of apartments, schools, sports and recreational facilities, and transport infrastructure, including two new bridges.

That will be brilliant for our city and hugely attractive both to potential residents and investors.

Other elements of the package are also very welcome, not least the €50m set aside for a facelift for the city centre and major developments in Mallow and the Passage West-Ringaskiddy-Carrigaline Harbour Cluster.

It would be good to hear detailed plans for the public transport network in Cork. Hopefully these will come in time.

Funding for the new Marina Park, for cycleways, walkways, and the Eastern Gateway Bridge is very positive.

So is the investment of €50m for a new public library, which will indeed transform Grand Parade. The hope at one stage was that people would be able to walk across an open plaza, incorporating Bishop Lucey Park all the way up to the new event centre.

That would be fantastic, which leads to the question which was not answered yesterday — what is the situation about that long-promised facility?

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