- In 2018, the Government launched the URDF to support more compact and sustainable development. The Fund is providing part-funding for projects that will enable a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and large towns. It does this whilst ensuring that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.
Examples of URDF projects in action
Abbey Quarter Project in Kilkenny is a regeneration project on the site of the former Smithwick’s Brewery. The central brownfield site is being transformed through investment in new buildings and the re-use of old buildings. Underutilised sites are being converted into public spaces, integrating with the city’s Medieval Mile. €6 million is being provided through the URDF to fund significant public realm works and community and cultural infrastructure projects as part of Phase 1, with a further €13 million allocated for the progress of Phase 2. One of the lead figures in implementing the project is available for media interviews on a URDF project in action. To arrange an interview please contact Catherine Cooney in Kilkenny County Council’s press office on 056-7794053 or email@example.com.
Carrigaline Western Relief Road, Cork: Now complete, this project involved the development of a Relief Road for the town of Carrigaline, allowing vehicular traffic to bypass the main street. It also links the new pedestrian/cycle routes to a series of informal and formal walks and public spaces for interactions. The road was officially opened on 10 October 2022, with funding of €6.4 million provided by the URDF. To arrange an interview please contact Aidan Lynch in Cork County Council via Aidan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Tramore, Waterford: This project is complete and has transformed the town centre into a destination by creating a new identifiable core with shared surface and good public realm linkages to the beach area and transport hub on the Lower Branch Road.
The project has implemented a clear traffic and ‘way finding’ solution to this core and finally provides additional off street parking at the mid contour level to greatly improve accessibility. Funding of €2 million was provided by the URDF. To arrange an interview please contact Karen Cheevers, Communications, Marketing & PR Lead, Waterford City & County Council at email@example.com
Collaboration and Virtual Reality centre – Innovate Limerick: Building work was completed on the Digital Collaboration and Virtual Reality Centre in December 2022.
This state of the art collaboration centre seeks to maximise the benefits and strengths arising from collaboration and co-location of disruptive technology expertise to support all levels of regional technology activity in the Mid-West.
The final project cost was €3 million and was funded by URDF and Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund. To arrange an interview please contact Donn O’Sullivan, Limerick City and County Council on firstname.lastname@example.org
The URDF is one of four funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
IT has a total allocation of €2 billion to 2030, with €136 million available to fund URDF-supported projects in 2023.
Comprising of 132 proposals, with almost 400 subprojects, the URDF programme of works is currently providing support to applicant-led projects right across the country, enabling more compact and sustainable development within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and large towns, while also ensuring that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.
In keeping with the aims of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and Project Ireland 2040, the URDF demonstrates a new and more tailored approach to the provision of government support.
Over its planned duration up to 2030, URDF support will be targeted in an integrated, dynamic and responsive way to support the regeneration and rejuvenation of our towns and cities.
As outlined in the revised NDP 2021 – 2030, the URDF is to move away from the competitive process of previous rounds of funding, with further URDF support to be targeted across a number of strands that will separately address the needs of cities and towns.
Supporting key objectives of Housing for All and Town Centre First, this round of URDF support specifically addresses long term vacancy and dereliction across URDF eligible cities and town.
Through the URDF, the NPF is now being underpinned by significant targeted infrastructural capital investment that will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration and development and growth. In this regard the IDA has already acknowledged the important role that the URDF is playing in the creation of a sense of place, something which is considered essential for increasing Ireland’s attractiveness to foreign investment and strengthening opportunities for indigenous enterprise.
- The programme has been very well received and supported and the department is working closely with the successful applicants to advance these projects as quickly as possible.
Previous rounds of URDF funding
- In mid-2019, approval in principle and provisional funding allocations issued in respect of 87 major projects across the country under the first call for proposals. Through the URDF, successful applicants are receiving targeted integrated support for innovative holistic solutions to the issues that have hindered the regeneration and rejuvenation of our large towns and cities.
- This significant pipeline of projects is set to have a transformational impact in urban areas across the country. These projects offer a good regional spread, and span a number of themes, and the diversity of this first tranche of projects demonstrates the broad focus and responsive nature of the Fund. The sum total of provisional allocations to date of these projects is just over €330 million.
- Call 2 was announced in 2020, with a primary focus on contributing to compact growth objectives through integrated urban developments, strategic development areas combining a number of elements and schemes that support wider climate action objectives and livability factors within our cities and towns. Approval in principle was given for funding support of €1.3 billion for 45 projects.
Vacancy advertising campaign
- The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is running a six-week advertising campaign, beginning today, on the supports available for anyone who owns or wishes to buy a vacant home with a view to converting it into their principal primary residence.
- The first phase of the campaign will focus on the recently expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.
- The second phase will focus on some of the other supports and schemes available such as the Repair and Leasing Scheme and the planning exemption for the conversion of commercial premises into nine or less residential units.
- For more information, please open the campaign website.