The Ballymun regeneration project spanned almost 20 years, with Departmental funding requirements first coming into play in 1999.
The substantial programme, which included 24 projects, is now complete. Approximately €972 million was spent on the programme, €775.3 million of which was recouped by my Department. Ballymun is by far the largest regeneration project ever undertaken in the country and the project was largely completed by the end of 2013. Since construction started in 2000, this significant investment resulted in almost 2,000 new replacement homes being constructed for residents of the original flat blocks and an additional 1,350 homes in the area being provided via private sector investment.
In addition, the programme has provided state of the art community facilities, such as the Axis theatre, and invested in neighbourhood centres to improve services. In recent years the programme has focused on improving the area’s environmental performance with various green initiatives, new parks and playing pitches. Enterprise and employment generation has focused on the main street and retail parks with many new employment opportunities opening up for the residents.
My Department’s oversight of the regeneration projects at this location was concerned with general progress on the overall programme and it continually liaised with Dublin City Council and Ballymun Regeneration Limited on the strategic approach and general phasing of works. This ensured that the project progressed on a sustainable basis, particularly having regard to general budgetary constraints and with a view to achieving its original intended outcomes for the community in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.
It must be noted that a regeneration project goes beyond mere bricks and mortar. In order to be successful and sustainable in the long term, a regeneration project requires the re-building of a community and a strengthening of community bonds. Through a combination of providing state of the art community facilities, large scale housing solutions and encouraging local enterprise and employment I believe that the Ballymun regeneration project has and will continue to prove to be a success.