Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has welcomed the commencement of the long delayed Living City Initiative which will support the regeneration of parts of Cork City as well as other urban centres across the country.
The designated areas have been selected following consultations with the relevant local authorities and other Government agencies.
Deputy McGrath commented, “This is something I have supported since it was first suggested and I have raised the delay on a number of occasions in the Dáil. It is frustrating that it took so long for it to come to fruition as it was originally proposed in October 2012. However I believe there is now a real opportunity to encourage more families to live in Cork city centre. This will bring a new vitality to areas that are in need of revitalisation.
“The initiative will provide tax incentives for works performed to refurbish residential and retail buildings in the designated areas, either to bring them up to a habitable standard or to make improvements to buildings which are currently inhabited. The cost of refurbishment can be claimed back against tax over 10 years. The cost of such refurbishment or conversion works must be at least 10% of the pre-works value of the property for the relief to be claimed. This means the works must be substantial and not just relating to minor redecoration.
“There are a number of potentially exciting projects in the pipeline for our city including the Beamish brewery and Capitol cinema sites which should be progressed in tandem with the Living City Initiative. The heritage site at Elizabeth Fort which is part of the area covered by the scheme should be also a priority. As a complimentary measure the City Council should look at a significant reduction in commercial rates in these designated areas to give further impetus to the scheme.”