22 Mar 2021
€400 million Urban Regeneration Fund announced for Cork City
Cork City Council has welcomed significant investment in Cork City Docklands and the Grand Parade Quarter under Ireland 2040’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).
The announcement by An Taoiseach, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D. on 19 March 2021, is the biggest investment by the public sector in Cork City in the history of the state.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh said: “The potential of Cork’s docklands has been long recognised but today we say that ambition eventually being backed by solid investment. The Cork City Docklands regeneration will provide jobs and homes to tens of thousands of people and make Cork a world class city to live and work in – supporting the Government’s ambition to develop the city as a true counterbalance to Dublin. It is heartening to see further regeneration in the very heart of the medieval city – alongside the old city walls at the Grand Parade Quarter. Not only will we be progressing with plans to develop a library that can facilitate up to one million visits but we will also experience the opening up of Bishop Lucey Park to the wider city as part of its redesign”.
Cork City Council CE, Ann Doherty said: “The Cork City Docklands is the biggest regeneration project in this country and is in many ways a case study in sustainable compact living and working. Here we are creating a new quarter that is built for the future: a place where people want to live, work and play – because of its job opportunities, community, green spaces and reliable public transport. Today’s government funding announcement will also bring further certainty to the private sector who are demonstrating huge confidence in Cork City Docklands. To make our vision a reality, Cork City Council will be working with a range of partners to deliver services such as schools, health services, community and cultural facilities”.
In recent months, it was announced that a new Delivery Office for Cork City Docklands is to be established by the Land Development Agency and Cork City Council.
Cork City Docklands:
This URDF investment in Cork City Docklands will fund transport and mobility, public realm and flooding and drainage.
- Transport and Mobility: The transport and mobility plan for Cork City Docklands focusses on sustainable means of transport. The target is that 70% to 80% of all movement in the docklands will be by foot, bicycle or public transport. The funding will enhance the walking and cycling routes in the docklands while providing ease of access to public transport, ultimately accommodating the light rail plans for Cork. Kent Station will act as a transport hub for national rail, suburban rail and bus/ light rail.
- Public Realm: Learning from international best practice, Cork City Council is keen to ensure that Cork City Docklands is an attractive place to live and visit. Work has already commenced on the development of Phase One of Marina Park. The URDF funding will go towards development of other phase of the park, along with a mix of parks, amenities and sports facilities throughout the area. Importantly, the public realm will embrace the river as a key amenity in the city.
- Drainage and Flooding: The plans for drainage and flooding are considered an integral part of the public realm strategy. Cork City Council intends to prioritise, where possible, the use of nature-based solutions for drainage in extreme rain events. The existing infrastructure will be used where possible to accommodate drainage and potential flooding from the river.
Ultimately, it is planned to build a ‘Town within a City’ housing approximately 20,000 people and 29,000 jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of neighbourhoods and communities in determining ‘quality of life’ and these values will be reflected in the development of the Docklands.
This latest announcement builds on considerable private investment evident in Cork City Docklands including Navigation Square, Penrose Dock and Horgan’s Quay, along with plans submitted to develop the Port of Cork site to include a hotel and a maritime museum. Furthermore, Glenveagh Homes has submitted plans to develop over 1,000 residential units in the former Ford Distribution Site.
Grand Parade Quarter
The URDF support for the Grand Parade Quarter will regenerate the southern end of the Grand Parade. This includes the funding needed to develop Bishop Lucey Park, which was subject of an international architectural competition in 2019 / 2020. In addition, the funding will enable public realm works in Tuckey Street and South Main Street. It is proposed to develop the area with a mix of cultural activity, job creation and housing. The funding will also help progress plans to develop a new city library in this quarter. This quarter is adjacent to the site of the Events Centre, which will create a distinctive cultural offering in Cork City.
Combined, these projects will give Cork a considerable lift and help achieve its ambitions to become a city of international scale. They will enhance its cultural and amenity offering, bolstering the attractiveness of the city as a place to live, visit and invest in.