Donegal County Council has announced the opening of public consultation on the Letterkenny 2040 Regeneration Strategy which sets out more detailed design concepts for 11 key regeneration sites and initiatives across Letterkenny town centre. This is the third and final phase of consultation in an overarching process to prepare a Regeneration Strategy for Letterkenny town centre to identify ambitious priorities for it as an attractive, accessible and thriving place. It is a project to imagine the future of the town centre to 2040 and beyond and the public are invited to have their say.
This exciting project is funded by the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), a flagship initiative of Project Ireland 2040 and match funded by Donegal County Council. The strategy is shaping a compelling vision for the future of Letterkenny as the Regional Centre in the North West, attracting investment and identifying a series of projects to bring about a powerful social, economic and environmental transformation.
Opening the consultation process, Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Mayor of the Letterkenny and Milford Municipal District said, “I am delighted to reach this milestone where we now have more detailed ideas and concepts for how priority parts of the town can be strengthened and revitalized. This includes ideas for diverse development at Lower Main Street including town centre homes, exciting ideas for a Creative Enterprise Hub and urban parkland to enhance the Cathedral Quarter and concepts for the development of a Regional Transport Hub along Pearse Road connected to public realm and walking and cycling infrastructure.” He added, “I would encourage the whole community to engage with this consultation process as it is crucial to hear the feedback of the public on the design concepts that have now been developed so that the wider community are part of the process to shape this vision for the future”.
The Design Concepts have been prepared by an award-winning consultancy team led by urban design and regeneration consultants The Paul Hogarth Company and also comprising Hall Black Douglas Architects, WS Atkins Transport Consultants, AV Browne and Queens University Belfast. The Draft Masterplan is built upon what people said during the first consultation phase in February 2021.
Team lead and Director of The Paul Hogarth Company, James Hennessey, said, “The Design Concepts deepen the work that had already been set out in the Draft Masterplan that was consulted on during November 2021 and develop the thinking around how each key regeneration site could be activated to create accessible, attractive, vibrant and interesting spaces in the town centre. Importantly, so many of the key regeneration sites are connected to each other particularly through walking and cycling proposals and ideas for more green space and this is positive because it shows how compact the town centre really is”. He added, “Letterkenny has huge potential to build on its wonderful landscape, heritage, environmental and community assets and Letterkenny 2040 will provide the all-important framework around which all the stakeholders, including the private sector, can plan and collaborate in the months and years to come”.
Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services added, “the publication of Design Concepts for key regeneration sites shows the real and exciting opportunity that exists to transform Letterkenny town centre and strengthen it as a competitive Regional Centre. Letterkenny 2040 forms part of a wider and related programme of regeneration initiatives which are also enabled by the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund and which are being progressed in parallel. These include design and development of walking and cycling infrastructure, strategic land acquisition for the purposes of regeneration and, capital investment in the development of the Cathedral Quarter and the old Courthouse. Taken together, there is a clear momentum and many ambitious and game-changing opportunities for the future of Letterkenny as our strong Regional Centre in the North West City Region”.
The Letterkenny 2040 Regeneration Strategy project is also developing a Letterkenny 2040 Brand and background technical support in the form of Design Guidelines and a Public Spaces and Linkages Action Plan. The final publication of the Strategy is targeted mid-2022.