Minister for Housing and Planning, Ms. Jan O’Sullivan T.D announces a new Office for Regeneration and 100 new homes while visiting Limerick City.

Ms. Jan O’Sullivan T.D., Minister for Housing and Planning, today (3 February 2012) announced that a new dedicated Office for Regeneration will replace the current structure comprising the Regeneration Agencies and Limerick City Council. “This amalgamation will accelerate the delivery of regeneration. All of the key decision makers will, for the first time ever, be working in the same office”, the Minister said. The new Office is an important step in the amalgamation of the Limerick Local Authorities and strengthening of local government in the area, as decided by Government in line with the recommendations of the Limerick Local Government Committee is expected to yield significant cost and administrative efficiencies. However, the Minister emphasised that the new structure would build on the sterling work of the Limerick Regeneration Agencies, whose term of office is ending in June of this year, in stabilising the areas and paving the way for the implementation phase.

Minister O’Sullivan said that the new entity would “give a new impetus to regeneration and build on the foundations laid so far by the Agencies, retain regeneration as a separate entity with its own dedicated staff and annual capital budgets and continue to support the community and voluntary sectors in delivering the regeneration social interventions”.

The Minister went on to announce the establishment of a specific fund of €1 million for community initiatives that would contribute to regeneration. She emphasised that regeneration should be led by communities who “are best placed to know what’s needed in their own area”. The fund will be managed by the new Office for Regeneration.

In a speech to local residents at the Southill Area Centre, the Minister went on to announce funding of €4.2 million for 29 homes for older people in the Vize’s Court. “It is critical that the regeneration programme in 2012 moves on from demolition to construction, from relocation to rebuilding communities”, the Minister said, adding that she hoped the new housing at Vizes Court would be substantially completed early next year. “I am making it an objective of my term as Minister to ensure that investment in the regeneration of Limerick continues, and that all investment delivers real and tangible outputs for the communities here”. The Minister concluded with the announcement that funding would be made available for 100 new housing units to commence this year. As well as the units at Vizes Court, units will be located at Wallers Well (10), Southill Sheltered Housing (35), Lord Edward Street (70) and College Avenue, Moyross (68). Following an archaeological examination of sites in the Nicholas Street area, 12 additional units under the St. Mary’s Park/King’s Island implementation plan are also included in the programme. The 33 units already under construction at Cliona Park are due to be completed later this year.

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