Strong feedback to Limerick 2030 plan

An 'iconic building' forms a part of the Limerick 2030 masterplan
MORE than 30 people have given feedback to the multi-million euro Limerick 2030 plan, which envisages transformation of the centre.

MORE than 30 people have given feedback to the multi-million euro Limerick 2030 plan, which envisages transformation of the centre.

Groups and inviduals from across the city and further beyond responded to a call for feedback to the €250m proposals, which could see seven distinct areas of the city get a makeover.

Among the groups sharing their thoughts were the Limerick Boat Club, the Limerick Chamber, the Shannon Foynes Port Company, and various retail bosses.

Four of the 31 submissions indicated support for proposals to convert the former Theatre Royal building in Cecil Street to a digital hub, providing a cinema.

While this forms part of the plan, the city manager Conn Murray responded to each submission by stating the concept “is subject to further feasibility analysis”.

The project - which has cleared the planning process - requires some €5m funding from central government.

At this month’s city council meeting, southside member Joe Leddin urged support for the plans, which have been put together by the Limerick Clare Educational and Training Board (formerly the City VEC).

“This would lend itself hugely to people coming into the city in the evening,” he pointed out.

Cllr Leddin also called for more “pocket parks and playgrounds” in the city centre.

It was a call backed up by Mayor Kathleen Leddin.

Southside Fine Gael councillor Jim Long said one of the biggest issues to ensure the plan is a success is that of parking.

He suggested designated ‘free’ parking spots on each street.

A major plank of the massive plan will see the demolition of the tax office at Sarsfield House, and its replacement with a massive park, seen as ‘the front garden of the city’.

Fianna Fail’s city east councillor Kieran O’Hanlon described Sarsfield House as “the ugliest building in Limerick” and said demolition is the only way forward.

Mr Murray made changes to the plan based on the public’s submissions.

One came from Pat Maunsell, director of the Limerick College of Further Education (LCFE) in Mulgrave Street.

The economic plan heavily draws upon Mary Immaculate College, UL and the LIT, in terms of the putting together of a universal third level campus in the city centre.

But the director of the former senior college feels that they should also be included in the plans for such a centre.

Mr Maunsell wrote: “LCFE brings 3,500 learners to the city each year. There is an oportunity to expand the college into the city cventre in conjunction with third level institutions.”

Mr Murray backed up this call, and proposed an amendcment to the plan looking at how LCFE can stimulate economic activity in the city.

Cllr O’Hanlon also suggested that the college be included in the plan.

Chamber economist Dr Orlaith Borthwick expressed concern that the plan “appears light on a collective review of the funding plan”.

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