Fianna Fáil local election candidate, David Burke, has called for the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, to extend a current Urban Renewal Scheme introduced in Budget 2013 to Salthill village to revitalise the centre of Salthill and further develop the village as a tourism hub on the west coast of Ireland.
David Burke commented: “In December last year, the minister confirmed his willingness to allow the scheme to include Galway city which was initially intended only for Limerick and Waterford on a pilot basis. This obviously was a welcome move for Galway city but I believe that Salthill specifically needs this designation and would help the village develop itself as a leading tourism location on the west coast of Ireland.”
Mr Burke believes that the scheme could also assist in tackling the issue of derelict buildings in specific locations in Salthill, which he says are doing local businesses no favours when they are trying to make a positive impression on local and international visitors, and that the restriction on the type of buildings should be removed for coastal locations.
“In the 1990s, there was a similar incentive scheme put in place for qualifying resort areas such as Kilkee in Clare, Youghal in Cork, but also Salthill in Galway,” he continued. “It provided a double rent allowance for qualifying buildings in Salthill under the 1997 Finance Act. Clearly, the current scheme or an extension of it to Salthill would have clear parallels but also benefits for Salthill and there would be a knock-on impact in terms of increased economic activity and jobs in the Salthill area.”
David Burke further commented: “I believe everyone in Salthill is concerned about the legacy issue of derelict buildings and its impact on Salthill as a tourism location not to mention for local residents in Salthill. We are rightly proud of our village and the beauty of the Promenade, but we are also concerned about the impact the ongoing closure of Leisureland is having on the local economy and the board’s inaction on the matter. There needs to be some relief for those businesses which suffered badly as a result of the flooding in January.”
David Burke concluded by saying: “I have already made contact with our finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD, but I would be hopeful that the local Government TDs will take this suggestion back to the Minister for Finance and ensure its introduction in the coming months for Salthill.”