Sunday, 18th February 2018
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Deputy Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John Cummins has said he is confident that the state investment required to facilitate the North Quays & Michael St/New Street retail development will be forthcoming. Cllr. Cummins was speaking following a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar which was attended by all Waterford Fine Gael councillors and Senator Paudie Coffey.

Cllr. Cummins said the cost benefit analysis by Indecon had indicated a positive return to the state for the capital investment required. “The €61.5m required for the infrastructure is a very significant sum but in order to facilitate the Al Hokair development, infrastructure improvements are required. The figure takes account of improvements that must be made to the Dock Road and Abbey Road with new routes on to the site, a new pedestrian and public transport bridge and a transport hub that would house a relocated train station. Indecon have analysed all of the figures and have said the project stacks up when applied to the department of public expenditure and reform criteria”.

It is understood that Waterford City and County Council submitted the Indecon report and official application for funding to government on Tuesday 1st August and Cllr. Cummins said he was confident that the government wouldn’t be found wanting when it came to the North Quays project. “A great deal of work is ongoing at present by council around the SDZ framework, CPO process and the design of the capital infrastructure required. Meanwhile Al Hokair are also fine tuning their master plan for the site which is extremely welcome. Considering the amount of private sector investment that is on the table here, I believe the project ticks all the boxes and the Taoiseach was very positive and receptive to the project”.

The North Quays was mentioned in the 2016-2021 Capital Plan which is currently being reviewed with an announcement expected in November – ‘there are also proposals to develop and regenerate Waterford City North Quays to support jobs and tourism in the region. Support will be provided under this exchequer programme for this development when details are finalised’. Cllr. Cummins said “We are now at the point where detailed plans are being finalised with the potential to land what would be one of the largest private sector led regional regeneration projects undertaken in Ireland in recent years. Therefore an indication that state funding will be provided if and when detailed contracts are signed with Al Hokair is of the utmost importance and this was stressed to An Taoiseach by all present”.

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