Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (959)

Willie Penrose

Question:

959. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if progress is being made in relation to the provision of the necessary funding to Westmeath County Council to carry out a regeneration and revitalisation programme for western areas of Athlone (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23333/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is a flagship element of Project Ireland 2040, with €2 billion identified in the National Development Plan (NDP) to 2027.  Of this, €58m is available in 2019 to provide initial support for the 88 projects approved for URDF support last November, while €550 million is included in the NDP to provide further support for these and other similar projects up to 2022. 

Support from the Fund will assist in rejuvenating Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, and enabling a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns.  It will ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.

Bids were invited from public bodies for funding under the URDF and a total of 189 applications were received by my Department under the first call for proposals. On 26 November 2018, initial URDF support of €100m was provisionally allocated to a total of 88 projects throughout the country. 

As part of this first tranche of approvals, Westmeath County Council was awarded initial URDF support for a number of projects including Category 'B' funding towards the provision of technical assistance to develop their proposal for the regeneration of an expanded Tourism and Cultural Quarter in Athlone, which includes Connaught Street.

While the advancement of successful proposals under the Fund is a matter, in the first instance, for the relevant applicant, my Department has been actively engaging with successful applicants to further clarify the details of their proposals. My Department has now concluded this process and further correspondence outlining the terms and conditions attached to the URDF support will issue shortly.