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Donegal Council Welcomes Funding of €1.46m for Repowering Buncrana

Donegal County Council is delighted to welcome the announcement by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys that €1.17m has been awarded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), supported by €292k match funding committed by Donegal County Council, for the Repowering Buncrana regeneration project.

The Repowering Buncrana project proposes a suite of interventions that will work in an integrated way to strengthen the shore front and counter the disconnect with Main Street, address vacancy and deliver new job creation and employment opportunities in the town centre. The project will be informed by iconic public realm architecture and conservation, biodiversity, ecology and the climate change agenda in seeking to realise the recreational, tourism, social and commercial power of the town’s significant but underutilised waterfront, natural and built heritage amenities and assets. The specific interventions which will now be brought forward for further development under this stage of the project include:

  1. A new iconic pedestrian bridge over the Mill River connecting the NW Greenway Project and Amazing Grace Park to a transformed harbour/pier environment,
  2. The creation of a high performance promenade and Shore Front Green including enhanced walkways, beach access, public realm & festival gathering space and development of a new bespoke public/civic shore green users building,
  3. Enhanced connection between the new Shore Front Green environment and the Main Street commercial core of the town with targeted public realm improvements,
  4. Enhanced Shore Front walkway and promenade along the Fishing Green, with dramatic re-imaging of the Amazing Grace viewing point,
  5. Onwards connection of the promenade to Swan Park, Buncrana Castle and Cockhill Road, and
  6. The repurposing and extension of a vacant heritage building to create bespoke office accommodation.

The funding now secured will enable the Council to procure the full range of complimentary consultancy design team services necessary to develop this transformational project from its current concept stage through the stages of: planning and statutory consent, detailed design and tender so as to ensure the progression of the project to a highly developed status as a shovel ready project which is then eligible for capital funding consideration.

The Council wishes to acknowledge the comments of the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Jack Murray, who in welcoming the confirmation of funding for the project expressed his pride at being able to support the submission of the project as Cathaoirelach to the RRDF in July 2021 and his belief that it will now be an absolute game changer for Buncrana and the people of Inishowen in terms of its tourism offering, visitor experience and job creation potential. Together with the Cathaoirleach the Council looks forward to inclusive engagement with the public and all stakeholders during the public engagement and consultation stages to come.

Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G. McLaughlin said, “this is a very important investment in the key service town of Buncrana, which will enable the Council to progress a flagship and transformational project of countywide and regional importance as a part of our response to the challenges of Brexit, Covid and the climate crisis in the Northwest City Region.”  

“Buncrana with its shorefront setting, adjoining greens and parklands make it an ideal place for locals and visitors to invest in and flourish. We continue to work very hard with local communities to develop regeneration projects that can make a real difference to the development of our towns as vibrant and creative settlements that are great places to live in, to invest in and to visit. The Council is committed to driving these types of investments in our town centres which will enable other investments and growth to follow and I am grateful for the continued support of the Minister and her Department which enables this work and specifically the funding announcement for the Repowering Buncrana Project”

Director of Community Development & Planning Services, Liam Ward said, “I am particularly pleased that the success of this project has been achieved as a result of the dedicated and co-ordinated work of multiple teams within the Planning Service of the Council and specifically builds on, not only the provisions of the County Development Plan, 2018-2024 (as varied), but also the ‘Strategic Strengths and Future Strategic Direction’ study of Buncrana (August 2020), which established many of the ‘place standard priorities’ on which the project is based. This is evidence of the value of a collective team effort and the merits of a plan led approach to regeneration. The dedicated work of our Regeneration Team and Central Planning Unit together with the collaboration of the local community has led to the successful announcement.”

Source: Donegal County Council

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