Limerick City and County Councils have announced details of an ambitious plan which will transform Limerick city centre, its economy, and the way it is marketed as an ideal location for investment over the next 17 years.
The €250 million euro plan entitled ‘Limerick 2030 – An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick’ was unveiled today (Friday) by Minister from the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, TD, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD and Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD. It has the potential to deliver 5,000 new jobs and sets out a number of objectives which will considerably change the infrastructure of the city centre and deliver a whole new vision for Limerick as a leading centre for commercial investment.
Speaking at the launch, Limerick City and County Councils Manager/CEO Conn Murray described Limerick 2030 as “a once in a generation plan to guide the economic, social and physical renaissance of Limerick city centre, the wider county and Mid-West region.”
“The plan will allow us to work together to bring much needed investment to Limerick, to revitalise the city centre and to project a positive image giving confidence to investors, businesses and the local community,” he said. “It is by design a flexible, dynamic framework capable of responding to changing circumstances and providing, perhaps for the first time, a holistic perspective on Limerick’s future. And it’s timely, as we move towards the full merger of Limerick City and County Councils in 2014,” he said.
The Limerick 2030 plan is structured around three main elements; an Economic Strategy, a Spatial Strategy and a Marketing Plan.
Limerick 2030 Economic Strategy—will position Limerick to capture a greater share of knowledge based investment, supporting innovation, enterprise and start-ups while capitalising on its existing strengths – its three Higher Education institutions, the city’s ICT and digital assets & its strong knowledge and technology based reputation.
Limerick 2030 Spatial strategy—will transform how the city centre looks repositioning itself as the premier regional shopping destination and a desirable place to do business, attracting new investment and companies located in a high quality and flexible space.
These transformational changes include:
- A renaissance of Limerick’s entire waterfront and the creation of an iconic destination building ‘The Limerick Cultural Centre’.
- ‘Great Streets’ – the transformation of the three main streets; O’Connell St, Catherine St and Henry St.
- A new City Square/Plaza to define the heart of the city.
- A City Centre Higher Education campus to include facilities from LIT, UL, and MIC.
- Restoration of the Georgian Quarter.
- Renewal of Colbert Station creating better links with city centre facilities through a new public transport interchange.
The transformation of the cityscape will also involve a comprehensive re-development of the Arthur’s Quay area to create a new city square; a refurbishment of Cruises St and an expansion of the Penney’s/Debenhams area so that it becomes a focal point for shopping.
The plan also includes the removal of Sarsfield House and the development of the Opera Centre site as a location for new business together with an Innovation Hub. This will be closely aligned to the city’s colleges providing space and support for fledgling businesses.
Limerick 2030 Marketing Plan—this will include co-ordinated efforts across all sectors to re-brand and sell Limerick while challenging existing false perceptions, under the following themes:
- It will highlight a resilient, attractive and forward looking city, with an edge in industry, culture, leisure and sport, which is ambitious about its future.
- It will profile Limerick as alive with industrious and academic energy while highlighting its rich industrial, historical and cultural heritage.
The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr. Gerry McLoughlin, and Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Cllr. Jerome Scanlan described the plan as “visionary and transformational”.
“Today we are launching a platform for a renewed Limerick, a unified Limerick and a Limerick with a bright future to which everyone can look forward to with great hope and anticipation,” said Mayor McLoughlin.
Cllr. Scanlan added: “The overriding message from the Mayor and myself today is the central importance of unity and togetherness from everyone in the region as we now move towards implementation of this plan.”
In addition to the launch of the Limerick 2030 plan, a Charter of Convergence and Cohesion was also signed today by the heads of the principal agencies in the Mid-West region.
This Charter, which in many ways is reminiscent of the original Charter of Limerick signed in 1197, sets out a series of commitments which at the centre contains a resolution to working in a collaborative way for the benefit of Limerick.
The signatories to the new charter are; Conn Murray, Manager/CEO Limerick City and County Councils; Prof Don Barry, President, University of Limerick; Dr Maria Hinfelaar, President, Limerick Institute of Technology; Prof Michael Hayes, President, Mary Immaculate College; Liam McElligott, CEO, Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership; Rose Hynes, Chairperson, Shannon Airport Authority; Patrick Keating, CEO, Shannon Foynes Port Company and Maria Kelly, CEO Limerick Chamber.
Limerick 2030 will form part of the Limerick City and County Development plans and will be subject to public consultation. Its delivery and implementation will require a combined effort by all public, private and voluntary bodies in the region, spearheaded by Limerick City and County Councils.
The €250 million plan is part of a wider and more ambitious €750m Limerick Project to deliver improved economic infrastructure including new third level educational facilities, new Port facilities along the Shannon Estuary, and new infrastructure at Shannon International Airport over the next two decades.