Waterford is beginning another period of Transition - with Project Ireland 2040
Project Ireland 2040 is the Government’s overarching policy initiative to make Ireland a better country for all of us, a country that reflects the best of who we are and what we aspire to be.
Project Ireland 2040 is informed by the Programme for a Partnership Government 2016, which recognises that economic and social progress go hand in hand, as well as by the National Planning Framework to 2040 and the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
The National Planning Framework to 2040 paves the way for the largest development in the history of Waterford. It is also one of the largest single developments ever in Ireland. The upcoming projects will see close on half a billion euros being spent. Much of this will be spent in the local economy.
So far, €2bn has been allocated by Government to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (by which Waterford Council secured the €63.4m that will be required to make the North Quays SDZ regeneration project (see links below) a reality, (including a new bridge across the Suir).
Add to that the North Quays investment by Fawaz Al Hokair Group of €280m, and it's easy to see the economic potential involved for the City and surrounding regions.
The proposal comprises 39,600 sq m of retail space, 15,000 sq m of offices, 1,000 sq m of conference/exhibition facilities, 9,000 sq m (200-bed) hotel, 30,000 sq m (300) apartments, a 10,000 sq m visitors centre, 1,600 parking spaces, and a transport hub.
This multimillion euro investment at the North Quays along with the development of the Michael Street Shopping Complex and the Ard Ri Hotel will help to transform Waterford City and ensure that the City attracts further investment in the future. An Economic Appraisal prepared by Indecon Economic Consultants shows the combined investment in these three Waterford sites will reach €562 Million.
Also mentioned in the plans are:
• The N24 Waterford to Cahir and the N25 Waterford to Glenmore road projects will be progressed through pre-appraisal and early planning during 2018.
• Waterford Airport will receive continued exchequer support planned under the Regional Airports Programme.
• Continuing investment to further improve the quality of port facilities, particularly those in the South-East such as Rosslare and the Port of Waterford given their role in maintaining transportation linkages with crucial EU markets.
• To grow the population of Waterford (City and Suburbs from the current figure of 54,000 to 81,000 by 2040)
The predicted population growth means that thousands of new homes will be required to be built in Waterford. This in turn will lead to the creation of many jobs in the construction of these new residential units.
The North Quays development (pictured) will see over a thousand direct construction jobs created throughout the project. For the last two years construction companies have been hiring an additional 1,000 workers per month on average in Ireland.
The Southern Regional Assembly (located in O’Connell Street in Waterford) will be tasked with ensuring the principles of the NPF are adopted by the regions Local Authorities in their future development plans
The establishment of the Construction Sector Group within the National Development Plan will help address the challenges to the delivery of the promised infrastructure investment in Waterford under the plans and ensure they become a reality.