A NEW ‘Town Centre First’ policy will revitalise towns across County Waterford and benefit local communities, a Waterford Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Cummins said: “Fine Gael is working to create stronger, safer communities and this new ‘Town Centre First’ policy is crucial to that. It is designed to support the regeneration of our towns and villages with targeted funding to support above-shop and town centre living.
“This ambitious and far-reaching policy contains a range of measures and funding supports aimed at making towns in Waterford more viable and attractive places in which to live, work and visit, whilst ensuring they are social, cultural and services hubs for the local community,” he added.
breathe new life into town centres
“The ‘Town Centres First’ policy contains a major new strategy to tackle vacancy, combat dereliction and breathe new life into town centres.
“This has been a key priority for Fine Gael and something on which we have been working hard. Prior to Christmas my colleague Deputy Higgins and I launched a discussion which put forward 26 proposals for consideration, which could enhance by over 10,000 the number of vacant homes becoming available for early use.” Announcing ‘Town Centre First’, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD said:
“‘Town Centre First’ represents a new approach to revitalising communities the length and breadth of this country. This is about bringing together our businesses, our local authorities and our town teams, so that they are at the fore when it comes to planning for the future development of their communities.”
Waterford will now gain their own dedicated Town Regeneration Officers, who will be crucial to driving future development. They will be full-time dedicated positions within Waterford City and County Council, working with Town Teams and local business groups to design and implement town plans.
They will also work tom identify derelict buildings and assist in bringing them back into use.
Senator Cummins added: “Our towns will benefit from Government funding, which will emphasise the importance of town centres as the central hub of our communities. Portlaw was chosen as Waterford’s pilot for the town centre first plan and an allocation of €100,000 was made last December.”