ONE of the most historic areas of the city is in line for a long-awaited upgrade following the acquisition of derelict buildings and plans to pedestrianise the street.
Several derelict sites in Nicholas Street have been purchased by Limerick City Council, which it is hoped will improve this “blighted” area.
City Hall now has an opportunity to transform this area, said Sinn Fein councillor Maurice Quinlivan.
“The neglect of a number of properties along Nicholas Street over a long number of years has been shameful. Developers who bought these properties with the intention of making a fast buck have contributed to a run down and neglected feel to the street,” he said.
Mayor of Limerick, councillor Jim Long, said there are a number of short and long term plans for the area, including an archaeological study on old properties, and the replacement of all lamp posts.
He has mooted that an area of derelict sites could be changed into a carpark to be used by tourists to King John’s Castle.
There are also plans to pedestrianise part of the street during daytime hours, and replace the paving stones.
But Cllr Long said the full two-year programme hasn’t been sanctioned by the council yet.
Funds for the works are expected to come from Bord Failte, the regeneration budget and capital funding from the Department of the Environment, he said.
In the meantime, a number of minor projects in the Nicholas Street area have been announced for the area to be completed before the end of March.
Cllr Quinlivan, who has campaigned alongside residents and traders in recent years for the area to be improved, said he is pleased that the plans are “progressing well”.
The works will include tidying up derelict sites, painting the area, planting flowers and erecting hanging baskets and replacing some fencing.
“Whilst most of these works are minor and somewhat superficial it will give a boost to people in the area that at last some work is commencing and the street is being reclaimed,” said Cllr Quinlivan.