Hopes high that Dundalk’s St Nicholas Quarter work will start next year as lead design consultants appointed for regeneration project

Pictured at the signing of the contract Back row (l-r)) Enda O’Halloran Administrative Officer Procurement, Cllr Kevin Meenan, Olivia McCormack SEO Public Realm, Kevin MCGann BDP, Catherine Duff DOS and Chris Kelly Executive Engineer Public Realm. Front row (l-r) Cllr Conor Keelan, Joan Martin CE and Michael Mullen BDP

Margaret RoddyThe Argus

Louth County Council has appointed the architectural lead design consultants for the St. Nicholas Quarter and Backlands Phase 1 Regeneration Scheme and are “aiming to have boots on the ground early next year”.

Dundalk councillors welcomed news the that the international firm BDP Ltd have been appointed as the architectural lead design consultants for the long-awaited project.

Senior Executive Officer Olivia McCormack told the Dundalk Municipal District’s May meeting the contract had been signed earlier that day.

She added that a lot of work has already been done, including meetings with service providers such as the ESB and Irish Water.

This first phase of the project consists of the public realm works to the Northern Gateway, Bridge Street, Linenhall Street, Northgate Street and the Peace Park at the Fairgreen.

Ms McCormick told councillors that the local authority will follow up on its commitment to engage with residents and businesses in the area, but the consultants first had to gather information about what the work will involve.

Cllr Conor Keelan said he was glad to see the project moving forward.

The contract for the multi-million Euro project was signed in County Hall on Tuesday and Louth County Council issued a statement saying: ”These works will regenerate and transform St. Nicholas Quarter. building upon its rich history, heritage, and the natural quality of the local environment. The planned works will enhance the experience of people living and visiting this area of Dundalk making it more attractive to the local community, members of the public, businesses, investors and tourists.”

The project will include the prioritisation of pedestrians and cyclists, including traffic calming measures and providing for a more environmentally sustainable community.

,‘’This project will see enhancements to the public realm in this area of Dundalk that will instil positive change in terms of universal accessibility and a revitalised streetscape,” Kevin McGann Landscape Architect from BDP said. It will also complete the link between Market Square and Dundalk Bridge seeing upgraded footpaths and carriageway to Bridge Street, Linenhall Hall Street and the Fair Green. We should hope that this project will provide a cohesive character to the area that has a positive effect on businesses and residents.”

“The regeneration of this historic part of Dundalk has been a strategic objective of Louth County Council for many years, and when complete it will provide a streamlined town centre experience from Market Square through to the northern end of town, making it an appealing accessible hub to live, shop, work and visit,” Chief Executive, Joan Martin said.

The appointment of the consultants was described as “a significant milestone in the St. Nicholas Quarter and Backlands Project,” by Director of Service Catherine Duff. “This initial phase 1 works will build upon the great success achieved from the recent Clanbrassil Street Public Realm project and help promote growth and investment in the St. Nicholas Quarter. This project will enhance the lives of the people living and working in Dundalk and bring much needed economic development that will sustain the town into the future”.