Limerick City and County Council, as lead designated authority in collaboration with Clare County Council, have secured €4.5 million in EU funding from the Southern Regional Assembly’s Operational Programme 2014-2020 to support sustainable urban development in the Limerick-Shannon Gateway.
Approximately €4.1 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) monies will be spent to revitalise O’Connell Street; Limerick City’s premier street from the Denmark Street junction as far as the Barrington Street junction, approximately 786 metres in length, running the entire section of the street, with its variety of uses.
The project, which is 50% co-financed from the EU, will according to Limerick City and County Council see the entire length of O’Connell "revitalised to a high quality standard by redefining its role, and will provide a stronger and more visually appealing urban link within and to the City, supporting other Limerick 2030 transformative sites already in progress as well as defining a stronger urban core."
It is anticipated that the project will contribute to economic development by attracting further inward investment into Limerick. The allocation includes approximately €400,000 to Clare County Council to improve the Town Park in Shannon.
Construction is expected to commence later this year and will last for 12 months. During construction, it is estimated that this project will deliver approximately 50 construction jobs and benefit the local economy, giving a boost to retailers and ratepayers in the City, who will see the direct visual benefit of a transformed urban core with high quality footpaths, bus and cycle lanes, soft landscaping and a much-improved streetscape.
"This successful application for funding was borne out of a collaborative approach taken by both local authorities to identify and present key shared goals, while making the difficult choices between competing needs so to identify two key priority projects of strategic importance to our shared Gateway,” explained Councillor Liam Galvin, Mayor of Limerick City & County Council.
“In a time of renewed optimism, this call for priority sustainable urban development projects constitutes an important opportunity to not only consolidate progress to date but also to stimulate further investment in the Gateway," said Conn Murray, Chief Executive, Limerick City & County Council.
He added, "This award of €4.5 million recognises the role and ability of Limerick City & County Council in delivering large scale transformative projects, and signals the Government’s support in our ambitious plans for a vibrant City as the economic driver for the Limerick’s hinterland and Mid-West Region”.
Liam Conneally, Senior Planner and Project Leader, Economic Development & Planning said, "This is another important milestone for Limerick in reinforcing its strategic function as the main economic driver for the Mid-West region."
"I wish to commend the work of all the staff involved in putting this joint bid together as well as acknowledge the strong smarter travel principles built into the O’Connell Street revitalisation project which will underpin a new era of urban mobility in Limerick City, while also regenerating the urban fabric, particularly in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter," added Mr. Conneally.