Limerick councillors want regular updates on economic plan

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

An image of how a redeveloped riverside might look under the new economic plan launched last week
CITY councillors have given a warm welcome to the massive plans unveiled to regenerate the centre.

CITY councillors have given a warm welcome to the massive plans unveiled to regenerate the centre.

At this week’s economic committee meeting, councillors were given a rundown of the €250m plan to regenerate Limerick City and its surrounds.

The plan provides for a major transformation of the streetscape in the city, with the demolition of Sarsfield House, and the creation of a new city centre square.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has already pledged to support the proposals, which could create up to 5,000 jobs during its 17-year lifespan.

Fine Gael’s northside councillor Michael Hourigan requested updates on the plan at least once every two years, something which was agreed to by economic development officer Paul Foley, who gave councillors the presentation.

Southside councillor Maria Byrne, the only ratepayer on the council, welcomed the fact the comprehensive plan provides projects in several different parts of the city.

Projects under the economic blueprint include a city centre campus with the three third level institutions involved, and an entertainment zone on the quayside.

Cllr Byrne says it is important that one project goes ahead in the short term, to “send out the right message”.

Councillor Jim Long says the plan “seems to tick all the right boxes”.

“But before we get carried away: ambitious it certainly is, but ambition is not realised unless we get the key players in place,” he said.

He urged city officials to ensure the redevelopment of the Opera Centre site be the first part of the plan.

Committee chairman Cllr Diarmuid Scully welcomed a stipulation in the plan that all local projects employ at least 25% of local workers. He added: “It’s an ambitious plan - but it is the most realistic plan I have seen.”

Mr Foley agreed that councillors would get a report on the plan every other year.