I'm happy to be announcing the provision of €28 million in urban regeneration funding for Carlow/Kilkenny, in partnership with my colleague Minister Darragh O'Brien at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Kilkenny will benefit from €11.46 million for the Abbey Quarter Phase 2 and €6.64 million for the Kilkenny City Centre Enhanced Liveability Project.
Carlow will benefit from €9.79 million for the Public Realm and Pedestrian Linkage Project.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Noonan said:
"This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to reimagine Carlow and Kilkenny and transform them to make our urban centres more sociable, more creative, more fun, more accessible, more biodiverse and ultimately, more liveable."
Welcoming the funding for Kilkenny, Minister Noonan said:
"Kilkenny is one of Ireland's finest inland urban centres with a proud history of creativity. Its greatest asset is its people, and they should be at the heart of the placemaking that this funding provides for. While I acknowledge that there are elements of the Abbey Quarter development that I feel need to be revisited, the public realm improvements and accessibility will be of benefit to the city centre. A new public space in the heart of Kilkenny is to be very much welcomed. However, cycling and walking must be prioritised over private car travel and the Local Authority must show greater ambition in that regard."
Welcoming the funding for Carlow, Minister Noonan said:
"I've been deeply impressed by the 'Project Carlow 2040' plan and I see it as a catalyst for the heritage-led regeneration of Carlow Town Centre, and an exemplar for other towns to follow. This funding endorses this Government's Town Centres First policy approach towards bringing life and purpose back into our historic towns."
"I look forward to working with both Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils over the coming years to realise our collective ambition for both of these towns and their people."
Abbey Quarter Phase 2 (Advancement Project)
This project entails the second phase of the Abbey Quarter project and builds on the first phase works initiated under the successful URDF ‘Call 1’-funded project. The second phase involves five complementary sub-projects covering public realm improvements, accessibility and regeneration of the Abbey Quarter:
Development of a new urban street with priority for pedestrians and cyclists, and an urban park and plaza
Construction of a boardwalk at Greensbridge, linking the River Nore riverside walk with the new Riverside Linear Park at the Abbey Quarter and onwards to the Canal Walk. It will facilitate and encourage cycling and walking to work from the adjacent residential areas
Repurposing of two retained maturation vats (following a design competition)
Tea House - restoration and repurposing of the second smaller tea house as a public amenity
Further refurbishment of the squash courts to serve as a cultural hub
Kilkenny City Centre Enhanced Liveability Project
This project will increase the attractiveness, liveability and connectivity of Kilkenny City Centre for locals and visitors alike. It will transform the place by radically improving the streetscape and accessibility of the city centre, helping to knit together its constituent spaces and deliver the council’s objective of a compact ‘10-minute City’ and the most liveable urban centre in Ireland. The URDF will part-fund:
High Street and Rose Inn Street - improve the public realm and introduce mobility/smarter travel options and shared spaces
Ormonde Street - upgrade the streetscape and public realm to include provision of a new one-way system
St Kieran’s Street - upgrade the streetscape along the laneways and slips that connect it with High Street
St Mary’s Precinct - upgrade the streetscape and laneways
Carnegie Plaza - upgrade the public realm and the streetscape along Barrack Lane linking to John Street
Public Realm and Pedestrian Linkage Project Carlow Town
This project will provide Carlow Town with plentiful, accessible and exciting public spaces that people can use all year round. It will also improve town centre linkages and increase pedestrian mobility from the town centre to Carlow College and the railway station.
The goal is to help more people spend more time outdoors together in an attractive urban setting. By improving the setting’s quality and enhancing accessibility to public open spaces, the project seeks to produce multi-functional benefits including health and wellbeing, sustainable transport, greater biodiversity and opportunities for recreation.
This project is the follow-on capital works to the related Master Plan from the successful URDF ‘Call 1’-funded ‘Funding for Master plan for Carlow Town Centre’ project. The project includes the following elements:
Railway Link through Carlow College – works include the creation of a pedestrian friendly space, through landscaping, street furniture and improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
Tullow Street - works to include provision of seating, trees and planting beds along Tullow Street
Barrack Street Pedestrian Link - creating a new pedestrian link to improve the pedestrian connections in the town centre
Barrack Street including Shamrock Square – this includes the creation of a pedestrian and cycle friendly space; landscaping to reduce the visual dominance of vehicular traffic; planting and seating to improve the public realm
Kennedy Avenue - works will include the removal of Kennedy Avenue roundabout; planting of trees along Kennedy Avenue; and a new traffic solution including a cycle lane.