Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, has expressed a warm welcome to the major urban regeneration and development funding announcement to progress and enhance three key sites within Athlone.
“This is really fantastic news for Athlone as it will bring major investment throughout the town and wider district. The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund was launched as part of Project Ireland 2040, to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities, regional drivers and other large urban centres. The fund is designed to leverage a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services and amenities, within the existing built-up areas of our larger urban settlements.
The Town Mayor remarked that numerous cohesive and informative meetings were held with the executive with the aim of addressing the relevant sites for redevelopment and rejuvenation.
“As a Municipal District we had numerous meetings with the executive to identify key strategic sites that would fit the criteria under this funding stream for development and enhancement throughout the town. For this first phase of applications we included the Loughaniskin site that covers old St. Mels Terrace area, plus the Council yard in Grace Park and surrounding areas.
“Secondly, the extension of the street enhancement scheme around Mardyke Street and Pumphouse Lane areas and finally, the Westside regeneration scheme, covering such matters as street and canal enhancement, plus Ranelagh area including the Number 1 Gun Battery site,” the Town Mayor continued.
Cllr. Keena enthused as to what now lies in store with regard to the future of Athlone as a major growth centre.
“I am absolutely thrilled that funding has now been announced by the Government to progress these three applications by way of planning, design and property acquisition during 2019 and I would like to acknowledge the support of the Council executive for preparing the detail applications and indeed both Minister Kevin Boxer Moran and Senator Gabriel McFadden for pushing this at Government level.
“This success story follows the inclusion of Athlone earlier this year as a regional growth centre under the National Planning Framework 2040 Plan. Credit for this is down to the widespread support via submissions from the Athlone business sectors, individuals, surrounding local authorities and also public representatives,” the Town Mayor concluded.