Traders disappointed to miss out on funding
TRADERS and residents in the north end are bitterly disappointed that Bridge Street missed out on funding under Project Ireland 2014. Just two projects in Louth were allocated funding under the Urban Regeneration and Renewal Fund, with the Long Walk getting €533,000 and Drogheda’s West Street also a winner as it’s included in a €3.283milion pot.
‘It’s very, very disappointing that Bridge Street didn’t get funding,’ says estate agent Joanne Lavelle who had been involved in the campaign to have the street included in the regeneration works due to start in Clanbrassil Street and Church Street in the New Year.
‘Louth County Council’s Chief Executive Joan Martin gave us an undertaking that she is focused on doing the whole job from The Square to the Big Bridge. If this door to funding doesn’t open, we are hoping that she has an alternative source of funding.’
She pointed out that Bridge Street gets a huge amount of traffic from people coming into town via the Castletown Road. ‘It’s a gateway into and out of the town yet it’s so neglected. There aren’t even any Christmas lights on the street.’
‘ The percentage of vacancy rates on the street is shocking and it’s extremely upsetting to residents and traders that Bridge Street didn’t come through this funding round. Hopefully the Council will find a way to fund the work.’
Sarah McKenna of Bridge Street Studios said the news that the promised works hadn’t received funding from the government was ‘ so disappointing.’
‘We put in so much work pushing for the street to be done and were assured it would be, and again there’s no funding for it.’
She said that the studio, which is home to a number of local artists and craft makers, and the other traders were doing their best to improve the street.
‘ The footpaths are absolutely dire. They are too narrow and work hasn’t been done to the street in ages. It’s only a matter of time before someone injures themselves.’
Cllr Conor Keelan said that while the funding for the Long Walk was welcome and would help transform the area, it was ‘extremely disappointing that we did not secure any funds for Bridge Street to continue the St. Nicholas Quarter Regeneration Scheme all the way to the Castletown river. As everyone knows Bridge Street and Linenhall Street never benefitted from Urban Renewal in the past or other significant funding. We must keep up the pressure to ensure that alternate sources of funding can