Minister O’Brien announces €82.8m for Western Regeneration projects

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has announced €82.8m in funding for seven regeneration projects in the Western investment region of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

The projects are being funded under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The URDF part-funds projects aimed at enhancing urban areas to make them more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest. The four local authorities, which will deliver these multi-annual projects, will receive this funding.

The projects for which URDF support have been approved are:

  • Galway City Council Transport Connectivity Project (Galway City Council) – €40.30m 
  • Galway Public Spaces and Streets Project (Galway City Council) – €8.64m
  • Galway Innovation and Creativity District (Galway City Council) – €4.3m
  • Oranmore Railway Station (Galway County Council) €9.28m
  • Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative Project (Mayo County Council) €8.53m
  • Castlebar Military Barracks Project (Mayo County Council) – €2.5m
  • Roscommon Town Centre-Putting the Spokes back into the Hub (Roscommon County Council) – €9.20m

The department will now contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. The projects announced today will augment the existing pipeline of 87 URDF-supported projects across the country for which just under €300m has already been allocated. Today’s announcement brings the total approved URDF funding for this investment region to €101.55m to date. Details of the remaining provisional funding allocations for URDF projects in other Project Ireland 2040 investment regions, not already announced, will be announced next week.

All selected projects support the National Planning Framework’s ‘national strategic outcome’ of compact growth, a particular focus of the second call for URDF proposals. The URDF aims to facilitate a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services and amenities, within the existing built-up areas of larger urban settlements.

“This funding will support projects in the West that will enhance quality of life for many people. The projects are all about making these areas even more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest.”

“The projects I’m announcing today contain a mix of aims, all supporting the Government’s national planning objectives. Galway’s projects will result in more sustainable transport and compact growth in the city and will provide new opportunities for residential and employment growth. These projects will also help the city transition to a low-carbon future. The projects for the city’s Innovation and Creativity District and for Oranmore will enable future development and opportunities in these areas.

“Castlebar will see significant transformation through the Historic Core Project. It will provide new opportunities for the town, for innovation, and, through the public realm and urban core works, for those who work, live and visit the town.

The multi-faceted project in Roscommon Town, with its emphasis on placemaking and infrastructure, will bring added vibrancy. The creation of pedestrian and cycle routes will help create a low-carbon in the future. Overall, I believe this funding can be a catalyst for regeneration, development and growth. It will also provide much-needed economic stimulus and job creation in the West as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic.”

Minister O’Brien added: “Compact growth was the focus of this round of URDF funding. The projects the Government is funding are geared towards sustainable growth of our urban settlements, supported by jobs, houses, services and amenities, as envisaged by the National Planning Framework. As well as compact growth, the fund supports our other national planning aims. In that sense the URDF is a unique approach to Government funding. Whilst many Government-funded programmes are for specific types of projects, the URDF funds a diverse set of integrated projects with integrated aims. I look forward to working with Galway City, and Galway, Mayo and Roscommon County Councils to progress these important projects.”

The Minister concluded: “I understand there will be some disappointment in terms of projects which were unsuccessful and my Department will engage with local authorities and provide feedback in respect of unsuccessful proposals.”

The projects were chosen after a rigorous assessment process, overseen by a project advisory board consisting of Government departments, State agencies and national and international experts in areas such as building, architecture and planning. In total, the department received 76 project proposals. Each local authority submitted at least one application. Today’s announcement honours the Programme for Government commitment to continue the URDF.