Wednesday, 7 July 2021
Killybegs Regeneration Group in conjunction with Donegal County Council has finalized and published an exciting and visionary Regeneration Strategy for Killybegs. It is a roadmap of key priorities and actions for the sustainable regeneration of Killybegs town centre to 2040 and beyond. The project is funded by BIM FLAG, match funded by Donegal County Council and led by Pasparakis Friel Architects.
Marking the final publication of the Regeneration Strategy, Committee Member of the Killybegs Regeneration Group, Michael O’Donnell said, ‘The Killybegs Regeneration Group first conceived the project in 2019 and the first phase of consultation opened in early 2020. We are delighted to reach this final stage to publish an ambitious and creative Regeneration Strategy for Killybegs town centre that imagines how the town centre can grow and strengthen to 2040’.
Echoing the Chair, Committee Member of the Killybegs Regeneration Group and local Councillor, Niamh Kennedy said, ‘I would like to acknowledge the vision of our consultants, Pasparakis Friel Architects and the role the wider community played in helping to shape the Strategy. We are very pleased to have already delivered on an action in the Strategy through the painting of the fantastic mural of the Armada scene which reflects our rich maritime history and, as identified in the Strategy, creates a superb ‘Welcome Quarter’ for our town.’
The Regeneration Strategy and Action Plan proposes 11 projects across the town centre including enhancements to the town centre urban realm to create streets for people, business and the community, a river walk, a boardwalk along the coast, a weighbridge coffee house, reuse of part of the striking Auction Hall building as a craft beer brewery and enhancement of the northern arrival to the town through a Welcome Quarter and grand staircase to St Mary’s Church.
Cathaoirleach of Donegal Municipal District, Cllr Barry Sweeny congratulated all involved saying, ‘The Killybegs Regeneration Strategy is an excellent example of the benefits of masterplanning for town centres. By thinking creatively and acting collectively, the Regeneration Group in conjunction with Donegal County Council has established an exciting roadmap for the town centre.’ He added, ‘this is critical to guide future projects and funding and help to encourage exciting town centre initiatives across the public, private and community sectors.’
The Regeneration Strategy and Action Plan is now available for all stakeholders to access and to work collaboratively to implement. Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services outlined, ‘We will now promote the Regeneration Strategy widely across all our stakeholders such as the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, across Donegal County Council’s Services and into our wider networks including the Diaspora network and the Public Participation Network so that we can capitalize on opportunities to implement actions collectively. Alongside the secured Government investment in the €4.8million redevelopment of Island House and new civic space, there is a clear momentum and many ambitious opportunities for the future’.
Sosie Pasparakis of Pasparakis Friel Architects described the town saying ‘Killybegs is a wonderful place with a strong community, extensive history and culture, great diversity in architecture, a fantastic harbour and a strong fishing heritage. This strategy takes all of these ingredients and creatively imagines how we can design the town centre to be even more attractive, sustainable and accessible than it already is and how we can maximize the untapped potential of Killybegs as a vibrant place to live, work, visit and invest’.