Top of the town to see investment to create Community Hub
This week it was confirmed that an application put through Waterford City and County Council to access funding from the HSE’s Healthy Communities Programme to fund an upgrade of works on Ballybricken had been successful. The fund, also known as Slaintecare saw a combined effort from both the Council and local community groups to show the benefits of the Ballybricken Green area to the wider community if funding was made available to upgrade communal facilities. The award will release close to 100k euro for Waterford Council to invest directly into their work programme for the area.
Local Fianna Fail Councillor Eamon Quinlan, who was involved in obtaining many of the community endorsements needed to progress the project said “It is a great win for the area. We know that the potential of Ballybricken was illustrated again during Covid when local families relied on the area for walks, family picnics etc.
“The plan here will be to improve the footpaths within Ballybricken Green making them accessible to people with reduced mobility and improved seating will be more conducive to people meeting up for a chat and some of these will be branded with the ‘Happy to Chat’ message.
a proper hub for all ages where there is activity all hours of the day
“I would be hoping local businesses will partner up with us so we can provide coffee on the Green and make it into a proper hub for all ages where there is activity all hours of the day. The objectives here, and the support of local traders has been in place since February 2020 when we had a meeting on the Green. Covid knocked us back but the plans are back up and running now and a focused €100k into the Green should pack a decent wallop in terms of impact.”
Local groups partnered with the Council to win this financial award with specific mention given to the Ballybricken Traders Association, The St Patrick’s Gateway and St Joseph’s Childcare Centre also known as the Yellow Brick Road, for their letters of support illustrating the areas use to all ages both young and old which were integral to winning the award. The Council will engage with other local stakeholders such as the Gardai to ensure the area remains open to all to use.
“Ballybricken has one of the largest Green areas anywhere in the City Centre. Combined with its history and the large number of nearby schools, the area is ripe for investment to transform it into the heart of the community for another century if done right.
heart of the community for another century if done right
“Following successful applications under the Urban Regeneration Fund for over €110 million for the North Quays and €27 million for the Combined Cultural Quarter/Viking Triangle development, I believe that Ballybricken should be next for Waterford Council to make an application for millions to renovate and upgrade the whole area.
“Ballybricken still acts in some ways as a village centre for the top of the town and we need to keep the spending going on the area. It will be an attractive option for our next generation to live if and work from if we get this right” said Cllr Quinlan.
As the funding must be drawn down over the coming weeks to satisfy the schemes criteria, Cllr Quinlan advised that locals should see these improvements sooner rather than later. The area will get a needed boost over the coming Christmas season and should be well placed with upgraded free community facilities for when the weather improves and people wish to get out and about and recapture a part of their locality.