Initiative plans to ‘bring life back’ to Limerick city

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Colm Murray,Dominique Bouchard, Mary Hayes, Jillian Robinson, Carmel Marnane and Michael Hogan at the Living Cities launch. Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22
LIMERICK families are being urged to return to live in the city and avail of a scheme of property tax incentives to rejuvenate historic properties.

LIMERICK families are being urged to return to live in the city and avail of a scheme of property tax incentives to rejuvenate historic properties.

Limerick has again been included in the Living Cities initiative, first announced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in May, alongside Dublin, Galway, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny.

The Living City Initiative is designed to regenerate both historic buildings and other buildings. It also applies in certain ‘Special Regeneration Areas’ to bring life back into the heart of the participating cities by offering tax relief for qualifying expenditure incurred on the refurbishment or conversion of certain buildings, where conditions are met.

Key professionals within the initiative’s remit gathered at Limerick’s European Capital of Culture bid headquarters at No. 2 Pery Square for the new launch of the programme. Key members of the economic development and planning department of Limerick City and County Council and its conservation officer Tom Cassidy will be on hand to answer public queries at a Living Cities Open Day on Wednesday, November 4 from 10am to 4pm in the exhibition space, Merchant’s Quay.

Cllr Liam Galvin, Mayor of the City and County Council, said he hopes the initiative will “bring families back into Limerick city centre and will maximise the use of existing pre-1914 buildings by transforming them into modern homes.”

“The launch of the Living City Initiative will lead to the further regeneration of Limerick City,” added the Mayor. “This scheme will bring life back into the heart of the city, while at the same time will help to conserve and protect the architectural of Limerick’s oldest residential and commercial properties, including the Georgian Quarter. Furthermore, works undertaken as part of this scheme will deliver employment.”

The Living Cities initiative has two components – residential and commercial. Full details, including application forms, can be found:

The former will offer an income tax deduction, over ten years, for qualifying expenditure on the refurbishment or conversion of a building for use as a dwelling.

To qualify the building must be built before 1915 and be located in one of the special regeneration areas in the city. The residential tax relief is only available to owner/occupiers and is not on offer to landlords.

The commercial relief is given in the form of an accelerated capital allowance for “qualifying” expenditure on refurbishment or conversion of premises within the special regeneration areas.

Unlike the residential element of the relief, the commercial/retail element is not restricted to pre-1915 buildings.

The capital allowance is given at the rate of 15% of qualifying expenditure for each of six years and 10% in year seven. The amount of tax relief available under the commercial element of the incentive is capped at €200,000 for any individual project.