Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan envisages one of the largest capital programmes and largest regeneration programme in the State. The Plan includes a €253m investment on physical, €30m on social and €10m on economic programmes.
The 500 page document was unveiled on Friday September 27th 2013. It is focussed on the three key pillars – Economic, Physical and Social - of the programme that will revitalise the communities over the next ten years by raising standards of living, opportunity and health and wellbeing for all residents of the regeneration areas.
The Framework Implementation anticipates an average of €28m per annum invested over the term of this Government and beyond, with the funding drawn from the exchequer, European funding, the voluntary housing sector and the private sector. The plan will also dovetail with the Limerick 2030 Economic Plan designed to revitalise the city and countywide economy.
While the largest spend will be on Physical Regeneration projects over the next ten years with €253m, each of the three pillars are mutually dependent. Some €30m will be spent on Social Regeneration projects, which has been already significantly funded over the past five years, and a further €10m on Economic Regeneration.
Physical regeneration, which is already underway with a number of cross-city developments, will involve a range of projects from new housing construction to renewal/retrofitting of housing, social and educational projects as well as road network infrastructure.
Design will be a key element to all physical regeneration projects to ensure that it facilitates a greater sense of community. The programme of new build, rebuild and refurbishment will also be subject to the adoption of social clauses to enhance the prospects of local employment and training during the physical regeneration process.
The single largest spend in the overall Implementation Plan will be €40m on the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Distributor Road.
In the Southill and Ballinacurra Weston areas some €16m will be spent on the refurbishment of public and private houses. There will be an investment of €15m on elderly and conventional housing at Lord Edward Street.
In the St. Mary’s regeneration area €9m will be invested in the refurbishment of houses and €7m on replacement houses. A further €10m will be spent on a range of access roads and associated infrastructure at the same location. St. Mary’s Park will also receive a €2.5m community centre.
In addition to the Coonagh-Knockalisheen Distributor Road, the Moyross area will see €37m on replacement housing, €10m on refurbishment, with €7.8m on strategic demolition, €2.5m on the Northside Regional Park, €2.5m on upgrading the Moyross Community Enterprise Centre, €2m on strategic site purchases and €2m on the Moyross Avenue upgrade.
Social Regeneration will involve an average annual investment of €3m. Its overall focus will be on improving the quality of life of residents in the regeneration communities, improving health and well-being of the population, closing gaps in health with the average population, improving the social environment and safety on the estates, stabilising community life and supporting civic engagement in the community.
It will also seek to address needs of the population so that they can access opportunities, and close gaps in standards of living. This covers improved access to economic and social opportunities linked to preventive interventions in early years, interventions to improve attainment in education from the earliest stages and access to further education, training and work.
It will also seek to influence and improve the coherence of service provision across the statutory and voluntary/community sector, with a view to improving effectiveness in responding to needs of the population and to achieve better value for money invested by the totality of the services.
One of the most dynamic projects of the overall programme will be the development of the National Social Innovation Hub to facilitate the development of social entrepreneurship and stimulate local enterprise development, create employment opportunities and act as a focal point for capacity building and job creation. This will be the first such centre of its kind in Ireland and will be designed to attract the support and patronage of Multi National Companies (MNC) widely engaged in social innovation and will work closely also with the recently announced Limerick Economic Innovation Hub as well as third level institutes.
The Economic programme will see €1m per annum invested in areas such as training, work experience/work placement and job creation. Niche economic activities will focus on growth sectors such as green technologies as well as developing a sknowledge - economy' sub-sector in community development and community enterprise.
The economic development strategy for regeneration is focused on the delivery of a number of key objectives. They include ensuring the growth of local capacity through the provision of focused sectoral training and employment opportunities, development of a stronger engagement platform to promote economic activity in the target areas between all stakeholder groups and local resources.
It will also seek to foster a culture of social innovation and social enterprise in the Regeneration areas as well as create a programme of civic and economic interventions to attract, support and grow micro and community enterprise. It will also seek to leverage off existing third level and regional enterprise expertise and attract inward investment into areas of Regeneration through infrastructural improvements and institutional supports.