comprised of government officials and senior council representatives is to be tasked with planning and delivering major infrastructure projects for Galway.
The establishment of the ‘Galway Delivery Team’ has been directed by Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English to prepare a “work programme” for key projects in the region.
The move is a result of a meeting set up by Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton between business leaders and Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney in March.
In a letter sent by Minister English to the chief executives of Galway’s two local authorities this week, he requested that the high-power Delivery Team be set up within weeks and hold its first meeting by the end of this month.
Mr English, the Minister of State in Simon Coveney’s department, specifically refers to transport issues at Parkmore, the development of the Docks area and the Ardaun corridor as infrastructure projects that could be overseen by the body.
Deputy Naughton welcomed the move and explained how the new strategic action group will be expected to operate.
“This arises from a meeting that I arranged with Simon Coveney in early March, at which we discussed the traffic-congestion crisis affecting Parkmore; and I have been very pleased by his response,” said the Fine Gael TD.
“Our local authorities have been asked to arrange for the establishment of the Galway Delivery Team, which will be comprised of senior council officials and officials from Minister Coveney’s department.
“This is a massive opportunity to progress a number of major infrastructure projects in Galway, which will shape the development and growth of the county for generations,” she explained.
“Many of these are projects that I have prioritised and sought to advance since my election, and there is firm support for these from central government. It is up to the local authorities get workable plans ready for investment and progress.”
In his letter, Minister English noted that similar strategic groups had been “instrumental” in securing recent investments under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund.
“Recognising that Galway is one of the most dynamic city regions on the island, is a major economic driver for the west, there are several projects and initiatives that would benefit from a joined-up approach,” he wrote.
“For example, the development potential of both the City Docks regeneration area, the Ardaun Corridor, managing mobility and planning issues around the Parkmore area... are good examples of strategic proposals that demand a combined city and county and national level approach.”
Deputy Naughton said that Galway is at risk of missing out on such investment unless the plan to establish a Delivery Team is implemented quickly and a strategy is devised for key infrastructural development.