Traders dis­ap­pointed to miss out on fund­ing

The Argus - - NEWS -

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

Bridge Street.

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