Council plans €45m spending spree after sale of land

WATERFORD City Council is planning a €45 million spending spree on roads, parks, playgrounds and the arts funded by the sale of a major chunk of its land.

The sale of the 32-acre Killure landbank just before Christmas will allow the local authority improve the quality of life enjoyed by citizens, city manager Conn Murray said.

The prime city council land fetched €45m, twice its guide price, when it went under the hammer at public auction and was snapped up by Dublin-based developer Ed Douglas last year.

Of the funds, €15m will go on paying the outstanding bill on the Outer Ring Road. A further €5m will be spent on site works associated with the Killure land and provision of pitches/facilities adjacent to the site and John’s Park.

A further €5m will be spent on the Williamstown Road/Knockboy while €800,000, €3m and €2m will be spent on the Old Kilmeaden, Kilbarry and Old Tramore roads respectively.

Park development works also get a boost with €3m shared between a number of projects including the delivery of public parks in Ferrybank and Ballybeg, a track and stand at the Regional Sports Centre and playgrounds in both the Butler Centre and Railway Square.

A total of €10m will be set aside for land acquisition/property investment/ office development while the final €1.2m will be spent on arts infrastructure.

Under the arts funding are plans to give the Garter Lane a €0.5m boost; the Theatre Royal will get €350,000; Christ Church Cathedral will get €150,000 and Red Kettle Theatre Company - which is this year celebrating 25 years in existence - is to net a significant €200,000 towards getting their own premises.

Mr Murray said that while this was the strongest era of sustained prosperity in Irish history, Waterford and the south-east had “not fully benefited” from the rise in national prosperity.

To secure the future, it was anticipated that the council needed to spend €500m on roads, water and sewerage, waste management, urban renewal, recreation and amenity, he said.

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