30 November 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Housing, Climate Change, and Roads all identified for significant investment
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins and Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey have warmly welcomed this week’s approval for the Council’s Capital Programme. The Council’s annual budget for 2023 was approved at €403 million while the Capital Programme, which provides funding for large scale projects, which will see over €1.27 billion invested from 2023 to 2025 across the county.
Housing will account for 45% of the Council’s Capital Programme. Over €578m has been allocated toward providing 17 turnkey housing schemes, 30 housing construction schemes, 9 affordable housing schemes, cost rental construction scheme, CALF and CAS schemes, housing stock repairs and energy efficiency upgrades.
The Council’s role in addressing the challenges of Climate Change also features strongly with over €484m allocated in support of the Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021. Projects such as the Public Lighting Retrofitting, €54m, the investment in active travel and connectivity, €117.5m, Council Fleet upgrade, €16m and energy efficiency measures such as swimming pools, building retrofits and sustainable transport measures have also been identified.
As the largest geographical county with a road network of over 12,000km, €454m on Roads Infrastructure is proposed for the period 2023-2025. This includes the delivery of National Roads Projects with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, upgrades and improvement on regional and local roads, fleet investment and car park supply and improvement. Cork County Council is also the Lead Authority for the Public Lighting Unit with responsibility for a major retrofit of Local Authority public lighting with high efficiency LED lanterns in 5 authorities in the southern region. Active travel and connectivity within the county’s towns and villages remains a high priority with a potential investment of €60.1m for greenways, cycle corridors and other active travel schemes. Additional active travel improvements will allow for better access to local amenities and links to public transport including €9.1m for Safe Routes to Schools.
In welcome such major investments, Mayor Collins highlighted how, “While our key strategic priorities have been identified, the Council’s Capital Programme further investment of €215m includes many diverse capital projects which Council aims to deliver in our towns and villages to support community, economic and social development, such as the redevelopment of the public realm in our town centres, a potential investment of approximately €91m together with a further investment of €65m in recreation and amenity, including €23m in new walkways and greenways showing the County’s commitment to ensuring the sustainability of our villages and towns.”
Some other key highlights include an investment of €22m for the extension and improvement of libraries across the County including Kinsale, Macroom, Midleton and Youghal. The Capital Programme also prioritises the development tourist attractions throughout Cork County through a capital investment of €7.89m with more than €1.5m set for investment for the introduction of new connected hubs in Mitchelstown, Cobh and Newmarket to facilitate the ability of residents to work remotely in these communities. The 2023-2025 Programme sets over €26m for Flood Relief Projects and Coastal Protection Schemes. There are proposed projects all along the coastline including Ballycotton, Kinsale and Glengariff, which include, Extension/repairs to existing coastal infrastructure, Harbour dredging and Lighthouse works.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said, “This Capital programme is a fundamental part of Cork County Council’s vision, aligning with the Cork County Development Plan 2022-2028. It is a programme of ambition and positivity demonstrating the commitment of Cork County Council to deliver the very highest levels of service across the county. As a Council we look forward to delivering on these programmes and continuing to build across our activity levels.”