HOPES are high the government will allocate funding to facilitate the planning and design stages for the eagerly-awaited Scariff Regeneration Project, writes Dan Danaher.
Clare County Council has lodged a Category 2 application with the Department of Rural and Community Development for funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund.
If successful, the funding would enable the local authority to proceed with the design and planning stages of the project before submitting a Category 1 funding application to deliver the works.
A decision on the application is expected during November.
This project has been described by Deputy Michael McNamara as the “biggest infrastructure investment in the town in a generation”.
Deputy McNamara this week wrote to Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, to pledge his support for the project.
He said it would have “long lasting positive implications for the community and economy of the town and surrounding area”.
The Independent Deputy said the proposed delivery of an enterprise hub in the town would facilitate local community and visitors to the East Clare area with short and long-term working space.
“Clare County Council, through the Information Systems Broadband and Digital section of the Rural Development Directorate, has developed a comprehensive network of Digital Hubs across the county in recent years,” he explained.
“The addition of a significant innovation and commercial space in Scariff would reap huge dividends for the town and wider area in terms of facilitating local enterprise, community organisations and remote working.”
He said he fully supports Clare County Council in its efforts to secure funding for a series of significant infrastructure developments in the town.
These would include a multi-service innovation and commercial space, improvements to the public realm in market square and the town centre, and the delivery of enhanced parking and ancillary facilities.
Deputy McNamara added, “As a lifelong resident of Scariff, I acknowledge the significance of this project for the town and the wider East Clare region.
“There was a very positive response from the local community to a public consultation process led by the council, which further underlines the desire locally for such an investment in the
“The proposed new regeneration project will deliver additional and significant streetscape improvements more widely through the town centre and square area of the town, which will greatly improve accessibility for all residents of and visitors to the town.
“The proposal to deliver extra parking capacity and ancillary facilities, including those for coaches, will help bring new tourism business to Scariff.”