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Minister Donohoe examines progress on €170 million North Quays Infrastructure Project

Series of productive engagements with businesses, students and community organisations

Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohoe joined his Fine Gael party colleague Senator John Cummins for a series of engagements in Waterford City on Thursday 29th March.

The day started with an early morning breakfast event in the Tower Hotel where Senator Cummins and Minister Donohoe addressed a room of over 100 guests before the Waterford business community had the opportunity to take part in an engaging questions and answers session. A wide variety of topics were covered including the VAT rate for tourism and hospitality, capital allowances for hotel construction, Waterford airport, crime rates, FDI, making work pay and the need to examine reductions in capital gains tax.

Minister Donohoe then launched a new comprehensive business support pack which was developed by Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Eirgrid. The pack provides information on grants, resources, funding and supports for all sizes, sectors and stages of business. Commenting on the launch Senator Cummins said “I want to congratulate Jenny and all the team at Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber of Commerce for the work that has gone into this comprehensive pack. It is always a pleasure to be able to assist them with their invaluable work on behalf of their members and the wider community”.

A visit to Senator Cummins’ former secondary school De La Salle College was next on the itinerary. The pair had a really good engagement with 5th and 6th year accounting and economics students in the school chapel. Topics discussed included a perceived over reliance on the technology sector; the increase in corporation tax; housing; supports for agriculture and the energy sector. Acting principal Tom Bourke presented Minister Donohoe and Senator Cummins with a book on the history of De La Salle. Commenting on the visit Senator Cummins said “It was great to be back in my former school to have a really good engagement with the students and based on the types of questions that were asked, I have no doubt that future is very bright. As Minister Donohoe said, ‘the educated talent of our workforce is just as important as our corporation tax rate in attracting and retaining FDI in Ireland’.”

Before leaving De La Salle college Minister Donohoe met with the Irish Guide Dogs for the blind who were in the school raising awareness about helping people within the community who are visually impaired. A visit to Waterford Marine Search and Rescue followed to acknowledge their recent awards under the National Lottery good causes. New technology such as drones and sonar which assist in search and rescue tasks were demonstrated.

The visit concluded with a walk through of the North Quays SDZ site where €170 million in government funding is being invested in enabling infrastructure to develop a transportation hub, new road interchanges on to the site, flood relief works and the construction of a new bridge linking the north and south quays. Mr. Pat Power of Harcourt Developments was also present to talk the Minister through their plans for the site which will be submitted by early April.

Following the visit Senator Cummins said “It was fantastic to walk through the vast North Quays site with Minister Donohoe and the teams from BAM, Roughan & O’Donovan, Waterford City and County Council and Harcourt Developments. This is a project which I have always believed passionately in. While many said it would never happen, I was determined to ensure its delivery and it’s wonderful to see the site transforming before our very eyes due to €170 million in government investment. When I walked the site with Minister Donohoe in 2019, it looked very different to today. We can now see the Transportation hub emerging, new rail lines being laid and new bridges and road interchanges on to the site being constructed”.

“It was also great to be taken through the visuals of the Harcourt Development plans for the site which will consist of over 350 apartments, hotel and conference centre, aparthotel, ground floor retail/food/beverage offer and the first office block in phase one. These plans are expected to be submitted in early April and due to the SDZ designation, I would expect the green light to be given to the plans within eight weeks. This is a really exciting time for Waterford and the South East. I can feel the momentum building within the city and county and I am determined to ensure this continues in the time ahead”

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