Thursday, 3 March 2022
Donegal County Council has secured planning consent for a major regeneration project in Letterkenny town centre that will see the transformational and exciting development of town centre lands in the heart of Letterkenny, between Pearse Road and Port Road.
The development which is being progressed by the Council in partnership with Donegal 2040 Strategic Development Designated Activity Company (DAC), will be delivered in phases with the first phase delivering two Business, Enterprise and Innovation buildings of 17,500 sqft and 43,000sqft alongside high quality public realm and pedestrian/cycle infrastructure enabling new and high-quality accessibility through the site.
Welcoming the progression of the project, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Jack Murray acknowledged the importance of town centre investment and regeneration in Letterkenny, saying: “the Council is committed to the development of transformational regeneration projects of this nature in Letterkenny as our largest town in the County and as the Regional Centre for the North West. This project will attract investment and create jobs making a real difference to the competitiveness of Letterkenny and this will have a positive effect on the rest of the County.”
Speaking about the development, the Mayor of Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District, Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said, “A huge milestone has been reached with the approval of the 1st Phase of this exciting regeneration development located right in the heart of Letterkenny town centre. It will bring town centre lands into productive use as a dynamic, mixed-use regeneration scheme. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring investment in jobs and increased footfall to the town centre which will also help to support and grow surrounding businesses. The development is also set within an attractive public space and will be connected to Main Street, Port Road and Pearse Road through highly accessible pathways and cycleways”.
Speaking of the 60,500sqft of Enterprise, Innovation and Business floorspace that will be created, Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development with Donegal County Council said, ‘the Alpha Innovation Centre and the Beta Business Centre will meet an evidenced and significant demand for new, high quality enterprise, innovation and business space in Letterkenny and it will also help to further develop the growing innovation ecosystem. This development will play a crucial role in stimulating, attracting and retaining sustainable business, employment and investment opportunities in the region. It will also enable a more diverse and dynamic economy and create synergies on a cross border basis within the North West City Region. Ultimately, the development has the capacity to target between 400 and 500 jobs, establishing the basis for a vibrant, activated and diverse Innovation and Cultural Quarter within the town centre.’
Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services outlined that the project forms a key foundational component of the Council’s Urban Regeneration Strategy. He stated, ‘The wider urban regeneration programme known as ‘Letterkenny 2040’ involves the preparation of an ambitious Regeneration Strategy for Letterkenny town centre as a Regional Growth Centre in the North West alongside the delivery of a series of other inter-related projects such as the re-imagining of Market Square, the enhancement of the Cathedral Quarter, the re-development of the former Courthouse and the development of walking and cycling infrastructure.’ He added, ‘This is a complex project and I am particularly pleased that the progression of it has been achieved as a result of the dedicated and co-ordinated work of multiple teams within the Economic Development, Planning and Regeneration Teams of the Council and with the support of the Elected Members, leading to the achievement of this key milestone in the delivery of the project.
The project is being progressed via a blend of strategic and complimentary funding sources. This includes funding support from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), the Border Enterprise Development Fund (BEDF) and match funding from Donegal County Council together with prospective support from a range of other sources which currently remains in planning.
Future phases will be brought forward through the relevant statutory consent processes in due course to realise the complete urban regeneration of the site beyond the Phase 1 approved which will include a future medium density residential development and further associated public realm, pedestrian/ cycle infrastructure and associated ancillary works.