Vacant commercial units and derelict sites in Salthill need to be “reimagined and reinvented” as residential spaces, galleries, educational, and office units in order to boost business and visitor numbers in the area.
This is the view of Fine Gael Galway City West councillor, Clodagh Higgins, who is calling for money to be set aside in the Galway City Council budget for 2020 in order to develop a masterplan for the development of Salthill.
Monday’s city council meeting saw the passing of the draft annual budget for 2020. The total budget will be €100 million, up from €87.5 million last year. The biggest spend, at 33 per cent of funding, will be on housing and construction. There were also substantial increases for the Homeless Services Grants by €3.6 million and funding For Arts grants by €2.8 million.
However, Cllr Higgins said she was “deeply disappointed” with the budget’s “failure to allocate sufficient funding” to Salthill. She went on to say, “Salthill is a diamond that just needs to be polished and that opportunity has been missed by my fellow councillors. I feel they have no vision for our community.”
As a result she called on those councillors in the controlling pact to provide funding in the final budget for her proposed masterplan, which includes an art galllery/craft centre for the area.
“I’d like to remind councillors that they represent all of Galway city and that only one provision was made for Salthill,” she told the meeting. “We need to develop real policies to make Salthill fit for purpose. We must recreate the thriving night-time economy that was once evident there. At present there is no cohesive thinking, buildings are given planning permission that don’t fit/suit the landscape.”