Watershed day as Waterford receives its highest allocation of funding for a single project - €110 million.
Funding paves the way for €400 million development consisting of significant retail & offices, 200 bed hotel & conference facility and 300 apartments.
The news that the Cabinet has approved a sum of €110million to enable the infrastructure required to facilitate the development of the North Quays has been warmly welcomed by Waterford Senator John Cummins.
The funding consists of €80 million from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage including some €10 million for projects within the boundary of South Kilkenny via the URDF and €30 million from the National Transport Authority. This will enable the construction of a new sustainable bridge over the River Suir, new road interchanges on to the North Quays site including Dock Road and Abbey Road access works, the relocation of the train station into the centre of the site creating a modern transportation hub and stabilisation works to the rock face in the vicinity of the existing Plunkett Station.
Senator Cummins who has been instrumental in the promotion of this project within government from its initial concept right through to today’s significant milestone of funding approval has said he hopes today’s announcement will be ‘the day that Waterford turns its back on negativity’.
He said “there are many people that have knocked this development from the outset and said that it will never happen because the government would never invest such a large sum of money in Waterford. I’m proud to have been part of a core team of people that never bought into this negativity; focused on the task at hand and quietly and methodically navigated the design, planning and funding approval processes. Today is the culmination of years of very hard work and I sincerely hope it is the day that Waterford turns its back on negativity and looks forward, with optimism to the brighter future we have ahead of us, particularly in these dark and challenging times”.
Senator Cummins said “I totally understand that the public have been frustrated with the perceived lack of progress in relation to the North Quays because they haven’t been able to see the significant progress that has been taking place behind the scenes. I have also been frustrated by the inability to communicate what I have been doing to progress this project, particularly over the last twelve months due to the delicate and confidential discussions that have been taking place”.
“I have consistently stated that the government was 100% committed to this project. The site was first designated as a Strategic Development Zone in 2016, it was included in the National Planning Framework and the Project Ireland 2040 Capital Plan in 2018, it received the highest allocation of any project in the first round of the URDF in 2019 and received further significant NTA support totalling €14 million in 2020. Prior to the General Election I ensured the project was listed in the Fine Gael Manifesto.
Despite all this, significant doubt was still being cast on the government’s commitment to this project. At the outset of this process, I assured the people of Waterford that I would work tirelessly to ensure that government financial support would be forthcoming for this project so I’m delighted that any lingering doubts have now been put to bed and we can look forward to the commencement of this game changing development for Waterford and the South East”.
In concluding his statement Senator Cummins said “I expect Waterford City & County Council to continue working at a pace to finalise their detailed design for the Sustainable Transport bridge, road interchanges and Transportation Hub with a view to proceeding to tender as quickly as possible. The people of Waterford and the South East can now look forward with positivity and optimism to a brighter future”.