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‘Longford’s day in the sun’ as €10m regeneration project unveiled


Artist's impression of the Camlin Quarter Regeneration Project for Longford town.

Artist's impression of the Camlin Quarter Regeneration Project for Longford town.

Artist's impression of the Camlin Quarter Regeneration Project for Longford town.

The Government is investing €25.8m in the second round of a stimulus plan to encourage more compact and sustainable development around the country.

Local councils in four ‘Project Ireland 2040’ invesment regions will administer the funds, issued under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF), and the goal is to revitalise the areas.

The largest portion of the funding under the second phase of the plan, which focusses on the midlands, has been set aside for Longford Town’s Camlin Quarter Regeneration project.

It has been granted more than €10m, the Government announced today.

The three other projects granted funding today include:

• A project for a low carbon town centre, in Portlaoise, under Laois County Council, which was allocated €9m.

• The Tullamore urban regeneration development 2020 plan, under Offaly County Council, which was allocated €2.25m.

• Athlone town centre regeneration and enhancement, under Westmeath County Council, which was awarded €4.13m.

The projects will add to an existing portfolio of 87 URDF-supported initiatives across the country for which almost €300m has been allocated.

The €10.4m in funding earmarked for Longford represents the single biggest capital led investment to ever come to the midlands town.

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Under the plans, local authority bosses want to develop a number of streets at the lower end of the town alongside developing a state of the art digital hub and carrying out a major overhaul of the former Connolly Barracks site.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “This funding will support projects that will enhance the quality of life for many people.

“The projects are all about making these areas more attractive places in which to live, work, visit and invest.

“These four projects will deliver improvements to commercial areas and civic spaces and will help transition towns to low-carbon living, one of the National Planning Framework’s national strategic outcomes.”

He said funding will be a catalyst for regeneration, development and growth.

“It will also provide much-needed economic stimulus and job creation in Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath as our economy emerges from the depths of the pandemic.”

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Paul Ross, branded the announcement as “Longford’s day in the sun” and one which would leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

“This part of town which historically was an economic driver of the town with the army barracks and the ABP meat factory had become run down in recent years and this will make Longford an attractive proposition to investors and business,” he said.

Mark Cunningham, managing director of engineering provider Cunningham Design and Planning said the injection of large scale capital investment could not be understated.

“Longford town, because of its location in the heart of the midlands and with its excellent infrastructure and rail network make it ideally placed for economic activity,” he said.

Business representative groups, fronted by its local Chamber of Commerce and President Fiona Fenelon likewise gave a “warm welcome” to the government backed investment package.

The Department of Local Government said details of the provisional funding allocations for URDF projects in other Project Ireland 2040 investment regions not already announced will be announced in the coming weeks.

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