€219m to be splashed on major new Limerick projects

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The Council will spend millions on various projects, including �6m on the Cleeve's site in the city, above, from 2016 to 2018

MILLIONS of euro are to be spent on major projects set to bring hundreds of jobs to Limerick over the next three years.

The draft budget presented to councillors shows that around €219m is to be spent between 2016 and 2019 on a variety of projects for the city centre and its surrounds.

These will be funded through a €32m loan taken out by the local authority, and government grants - among other sources.

The proposals will see key projects like the Opera Centre and the Hanging Gardens completed, and a major transformational plan for the city take a major leap forward.

A new ‘digital learning hub’ could be built inside the former biblical institute behind the Dominican Church at Baker Place, with the council providing €2m through its off-shoot company Innovate Limerick to purchase the building.

Elsewhere, a total of €1m is in place for the fit out of the Troy Studios planned at the old Dell building in Castletroy.

A total of €16m has been set aside for the redevelopment of the Hanging Gardens site in Henry Street, which will become high quality office space. The former Cleeve’s factory, earmarked for a conference centre, is getting €6m under the proposals.

Meanwhile, some €3m has been pledged for the redevelopment of the Opera Centre site, which will, under Limerick 2030, include a new office for the Revenue Commissioners, plus a third-level campus.

In order to ensure students can get to the centre in a short time from Castletroy, €6m is being proposed for a high-quality bus link between the University of Limerick and the Parkway Shopping Centre, with another €1.3m ‘green route’ down the Dublin Road.

Further to this €700,000 has been proposed for park and ride facilities, and €500,000 for an upgrade to the Childers Road.

The council plans to spend €250,000 buying Arthur’s Quay under a compulsory purchase order to advance its plans to create ‘a front garden for the city’, as envisaged in the Limerick 2030 transformational plan.

A controversial bridge linking Arthur’s Quay to the Treaty Stone will get €16m under the plans - although this will be funded almost entirely by grants, as opposed to local authority funds.

Elsewhere, the redevelopment of the Mungret College site will get €1m. It is this site which will be home to a new secondary school for the city, as revealed earlier this week.

Meanwhile, a new public park in the area – something Finance Minister Michael Noonan has previously said could be the city’s answer to the Phoenix Park – will be given €1.2m, according to the documents.

And €4m has been pledged to the second phase of Mungret Village, with nearby Patrickswell being granted €2m.

Around €15m of the council’s €32m loan will be used to part-pay for some of the projects, with other schemes funded through government grants, philanthropic sources, and levies.

These include an upgrade to the Rathbane golf course, which is being upgraded thanks to €300,000 of levies.

Some €11m has been pledged for the long-awaited flood defences at the King’s Island, while €3m is earmarked for the pedestrianisation of O’Connell Street.

Fianna Fail’s metropolitan district leader, Cllr James Collins, said: “This shows the commitment the councillors have to developing the infrastructure of the city.

“This is the reason we took out the €32m loan, because in the past we have not been able to allocate funds to projects like these.”

Cllr Maria Byrne, of Fine Gael, also welcomed the funding plans, saying: “They are very positive.”

LIMERICK City and County Council proposes to finance the following projects over a three-year period, starting in 2016:

- €68m on Regeneration construction schemes

- €16.5m for the Coonagh/Knocklasheen Distributor Road

- €3m on the pedestrianisation of O’Connell Street

- €16m for the redevelopment of the Hanging Gardens site

- €16m for new footbridge that connects Arthur’s Quay to the Treaty Stone

- €11m for flood protection in St Mary’s Park, Corbally Banks and Condell Road

- €11m for the Churchfield site, Southill

- €9.8m for Regeneration construction scheme on Lord Edward Street

- €9.3m on Regeneration construction scheme at Cosgrave Park

- €9m to be spent on social intervention grants

- €6.3m on N69 Foynes to Limerick road

- €6.05m on R510 Dock Road improvements

- €6m on Cleeve’s Factory

- €6m on transport link between the University of Limerick and Parkway

- €4.15m on the reconstruction of the Tipperary Road

- €4m on Mungret Village upgrade second phase

- €3.45m to be spent on demolitions and security as part of Regeneration projects

- €3m on Parnell Street improvements

- €3m on redevelopment of the Opera Site

- €3m on Moyross Community Centre

- €3m to be spent on Regeneration environmental and small capital projects

- €2.05m on Patrickswell Village improvements

- €2m on Parkway Roundabout

- €2m to be spent on National Cycle Network

- €2m to be spent on essential bridge repairs

- €2m on Biblical Centre near Dominicans (for a new digital learning hub)

- €2m on flood protection in Foynes, and €470,000 flood relief expenditure in Askeaton

- €2.1m on N20 O’Rourkes Cross improvement works

- €2.1m on N24 Bearys Cross improvement works

- €1.4m for Grove Island Roundabout

- €1.3m on ‘Green route’ on Dublin Road

- €1m on the fit out of film studios in Castletroy

- €1m on redevelopment of Mungret College, and €1.2m on Mungret Park

- €1.05m on Croom Distributor Road

- €1.56m on creation of burial grounds in Abbeyfeale, Murroe, Adare, Kilmallock and Caherconlish

- €700,000 on Park and Ride facilities

- €600,000 on development and extension works at Mount St Lawrence

- €600,000 on Black Bridge footbridge

- €500,000 on Newcastle West Active Town Scheme

- €500,000 on Childers Road updgrade

- €450,000 on Newcastle West town junction improvmenets

- €450,000 on Abbeyfeale traffic management

- €100,000 on footpath at People’s Park

- €100,000 on litter bin replacement programme

- €100,000 on Newcastle West Distributor Road