This week has seen the formal launch with the Metropolitan Mayor Cllr Eamon Quinlan of a new group called the Ballybricken Area Development Trust .The group has been active  for many months   and is made up of a combination of local residents groups and retailers associations spanning an area from Patricks street all the way to Keane’s road, Barrack’s street to O’Connell street encompassing the heart of the ‘historic city centre’.

“It is great to see this new group active in our city centre. There has long been a feeling that the top of the town has been left adrift and this new group in made up of local people living and working in the area who have been looking to work for their local areas but now in this new combined structure there is a genuine fresh sense of energy that we can move this part of the City forward while maintaining the best of our past , this is a group that I was involved in the formation of as a Cllr and I am excited to be part of their progression in my year as Mayor’ said Quinlan.

“The group has set itself the immediate goals of inclusion into some of Waterford’s most important events. Already the group has scored some significant achievements. Representatives have met the organising committee’s of both the Harvest festival and the Winterval festival and are pleased to announce that Ballybricken will now feature in both festival’s starting in this year.

“We see Ballybricken as ground zero as a place to begin, to improve the area and instil a new sense of confidence. It is our intention to begin moving out from Ballybricken as we go forward to work on all streets in assisting local business’s but also work with residents to repair and improve their areas. Truly, this is something unique. It is not solely about traders or residents but bringing everyone together to harness the potential we possess here to revitalise our area’ Said Eamonn Barrett of Altitude Cycles.

“The group has already met members of the Council’s executive and has been met with a degree of positivity that they are willing to work in cooperation and partnership so that the iconic ‘Top of the Town’ is integrated successfully into the new plans to transform Waterford in the coming years. In many ways, the level of history in this part of our city means that we are bringing a very rich and vibrant aspect to our city’s plans going forward.

“In many ways, Waterford started here. This was the historic trading centre of Waterford and many remember the fair days once held here. For Harvest, we will be recreating the old market days with Vintage tractors and cars, Irish music and dancing, an animal farm, country market, birds of prey exhibition and mini fun fair. For Winterval, we will be looking at a live animal crib, Christmas fun fair and a new Bad Santa offering that will cater to older kids to young teens’ Said Mayor Quinlan.

“This group may be new but with significant achievements long sought in the area already obtained by the group, it would appear that the future is bright for both the new Ballybricken Area Development Trust and a part of Waterford long in search of its place in Waterford’s future.