The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, today announced €30.4 million in funding for five regeneration projects in the Mid-East investment region of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. The projects are being funded under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The URDF part-funds projects aimed at enhancing urban areas to make them more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest. The three local authorities, which will deliver these multi-annual projects, will receive this funding.  

The projects for which URDF support have been approved are:

  • Celbridge to Hazelhatch Link Road (Kildare County Council) – €10.23 million
  • Naas Town Renewal Masterplan (Kildare County Council) – €3.49 million
  • Maynooth Town Centre Renewal – Strengthening the Grid (Kildare County Council) – €1.90 million
  • Flowerhill and Abbeylands Regeneration (Meath County Council) – €7.66 million
  • Bray Harbour Area Integrated Regeneration (Wicklow County Council) – €7.14 million

The Department will now contact the local authorities on the next steps regarding funding. Today’s announcement brings the total approved URDF funding for this investment region to date to €59.72 million. Details of the remaining provisional funding allocations for ‘Call 2’ URDF projects in other Project Ireland 2040 investment regions, not already announced, will be announced later this week.

All selected projects support the National Planning Framework’s ‘national strategic outcome’ of compact growth, a particular focus of the second call for URDF proposals. The URDF aims to facilitate a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services and amenities, within the existing built-up areas of larger urban settlements.

Announcing the provisional allocations this morning, Minister O’Brien said: “This funding will support projects in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow that will enhance quality of life for many people. The projects are all about making these areas even more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest.

“Kildare will see significant funding through this announcement, with €10 million investment for the Celbridge to Hazelhatch Link Road. This will help Celbridge to develop in a way that utilises public transport infrastructure, including through increased connectivity between Celbridge Town and Hazelhatch train stations. Today’s URDF funding will also spur on town centre renewals in Maynooth and Naas.

“The Flowerhill and Abbeylands Regeneration project in Navan is an exciting project. The project’s mix of improvement works and the proposed park and community facility can be a catalyst for much-needed development.

“The Bray Harbour project exemplifies the role the URDF plays in funding works that can release sites for future development, all with the aim of regenerating an area with so much potential. Overall, I believe this funding can be a catalyst for regeneration, development and growth. It will also provide much-needed economic stimulus and job creation in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic.

“Compact growth was the focus of this round of URDF funding. The projects the Government is funding are geared towards sustainable growth of our urban settlements, supported by jobs, houses, services and amenities, as envisaged by the National Planning Framework. As well as compact growth, the fund supports our other national planning aims. In that sense the URDF is a unique approach to Government funding. Whilst many Government-funded programmes are for specific types of projects, the URDF funds a diverse set of integrated projects with integrated aims. I look forward to working with Kildare, Meath and Wicklow County Councils to progress these important projects.”

He concluded: “I understand there will be some disappointment in terms of projects which were unsuccessful. My Department will engage with and work with local authorities and provide feedback in respect of unsuccessful proposals.”

The projects were chosen after a rigorous assessment process, overseen by a project advisory board consisting of Government departments, State agencies and national and international experts in areas such as building, architecture and planning. In total, the department received 76 project proposals. Each local authority submitted at least one application. Today’s announcement honours the Programme for Government commitment to continue the URDF.