I propose to take Questions Nos. 168, 170 and 172 together.
In 2016, the North Quays in Waterford was the subject of a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) order made by the Government, designating the area for mixed-use development, subject to preparation of an SDZ planning scheme, which has since been completed.
Waterford City and County Council submitted a bid for exchequer grant funding as part of the first call under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) in September 2018. Under the first URDF call for proposals, the Council's bid included four very significant elements:
- Relocation of the City’s railway station;
- A new pedestrian/cyclist/public transport bridge and associated urban greenway;
- Site access roads and road realignment;
- Off-site roads in the wider north bank of the Suir area in Waterford/Kilkenny.
It is intended that the infrastructural works involved will open up the site, making it more accessible and supporting the achievement of the objectives of the SDZ planning scheme more generally.
On 26 November 2018, initial support of €100m in provisional allocations were announced to a total of 88 projects, including €6m of initial support for the Waterford North Quays Project. This initial URDF support funding in principle relates to the works involved in the construction of the bridge and urban greenway. The letter confirming this initial support also outlined agreement in principle to further URDF support for this project.
While there is agreement in principle to provide further URDF support for the overall project, its complexity means that its proposed composition, costs and sequencing must be refined and further examined so that the precise level of URDF support can be established, and apportioned to the various individual project components. This includes consideration of any funding commitment to the project that may go beyond the current capital funding envelope for the URDF under the National Development Plan. In that context, it is worth noting that Project Ireland 2040 has provided for a €2 billion URDF programme operating on a multi-annual basis over the period to 2027.