Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

COUNTY Wick­low will be trans­formed fol­low­ing an in­vest­ment boost of €6.7m from the Ur­ban Re­gen­er­a­tion De­vel­op­ment Fund.

Un­der the fund­ing €1.645 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for Ark­low His­toric Town Core; €1.626 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for Wick­low town re­newal and €3.45 mil­lion al­lo­cated for Bray Pub­lic Trans­port Bridge.

The money ear­marked for Ark­low will see works tak­ing place at the pa­rade ground and pub­lic realm and also at the court­house and busi­ness hub.

At the pa­rade ground there will be sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion of the streetscap­e and pub­lic realm at the his­toric core of Ark­low which will stim­u­late new growth in the town. There will also be aes­thetic en­hance­ment of area in­clud­ing his­toric old cas­tle wall, im­prove­ments to traf­fic flow in town cen­tre and the pro­mo­tion of Ark­low’s rich his­tory.

At the court­house and busi­ness hub there will be the ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of the ex­ist­ing court­house build­ing to in­clude a dig­i­tal hub space and the re­fur­bish­ment of the build­ing restor­ing it to its for­mer glory.

In Wick­low town there are also two strands to the project the Fitzwillia­m Square up­grade and street im­prove­ment and the re­lo­ca­tion of Wick­low li­brary.

At Fitzwillia­m Square the plan is to cre­ate a multi-func­tional space at the heart of Wick­low town and im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity and pedes­trian ac­cess while en­hanc­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of Fitzwillia­m Square.

The re­lo­ca­tion of the li­brary from its cur­rent po­si­tion to the for­mer Ul­ster Bank build­ing on the Mall will see the bank build­ing be­ing re­fur­bished with par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion be­ing paid to uni­ver­sal ac­cess. The new mod­ern pub­lic li­brary fa­cil­ity will func­tion as a com­mu­ni­ca­tion hub and will in­cor­po­rate the Wick­low County Ar­chive, Ge­nealog­i­cal Ser­vices and Lo­cal Stud­ies fa­cil­ity.

In Bray the money will be used for the pro­vi­sion of a new pub­lic trans­porta­tion bridge over the River Dar­gle cre­at­ing an es­sen­tial link be­tween de­vel­op­ment lands at the for­mer Bray Golf Club and the DART sta­tion. This will lead to the un­lock­ing of lands at the for­mer Bray Golf Club and ad­join­ing brown­field sites, fa­cil­i­tat­ing both res­i­den­tial units and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment.

Cllr Pat Vance, Cathaoir­leach, Wick­low County Coun­cil, said: ‘This in­vest­ment is a huge boost, not only for these three towns, but for the whole of County Wick­low. The ef­fects will ben­e­fit many sur­round­ing ar­eas and im­prove ac­cess for any­one who may live in, visit or do busi­ness in Ark­low, Bray or Wick­low.’

Frank Cur­ran, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Wick­low County Coun­cil, ac­knowl­edged the hard work done by ev­ery­one in­volved in com­pil­ing the com­pre­hen­sive ap­pli­ca­tion forms for fund­ing. ‘Bring­ing €6.7m of strate­gic in­vest­ment into the county is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment. These projects will pro­vide eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the towns, while also im­prov­ing in­fras­truc­ture for the com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing there, en­sur­ing that County Wick­low moves into the fu­ture with con­fi­dence.’

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