Funding to Regenerate Several Donegal Towns

Letterkenny is among a number of Donegal towns to receive funding for regeneration projects. The investment in Letterkenny focuses on re-energising the Market Square and will help to advance the development of the Cathedral Quarter along with the re-purposing of the old Courthouse. €13.6m has been awarded under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund for the regeneration of Letterkenny town centre; this will be supported by €4.5m match funding from Donegal County Council. The funding will also be allocated to help with the regeneration of Lower Main Street, the advancement of a regional transport hub and to help Letterkenny’s walking, cycling and parkland infrastructure, (LK Connect).

In July 2020 Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Donegal County Council launched a competition inviting concept design proposals to redesign Market Square as a great public space that people want to experience and spend time in. The winning design was by landscape architect Joseph McCallion. Commenting on the design, President of Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, Michael Margey said: “The winning concept is an exciting vision for a flexible, multi-user space incorporating a plaza with creative spaces for sitting, markets and events.”

 In addition to the Letterkenny funding, an extra €18.8m has been awarded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund for regeneration projects in Carndonagh, Ballybofey-Stranorlar and Ailt an Chorráin (Burtonport). These towns will be aided by €2.5m match funding committed by Donegal County Council.

The investments will fund regeneration projects in the heart of each of the towns, including the creation of new public spaces and improved pedestrian environments, along with the use of vacant buildings and the development of new enterprise space for remote learning, social enterprise, tourism related enterprise and large-scale economic investment.

Carndonagh will receive €9.5million investment in the ‘Tús Nua Regeneration Project’ in in collaboration with Spraoi agus Spórt. The project will deliver a new multi-use hub located in a regenerated heritage building for a range of uses including: a co-working space and fabrication laboratory, a youth space, and public amenities. The project also includes a shared workspace and retail space for the designer maker industries.

Ballybofey-Stranorlar will receive a €9.8million investment in the ‘SEED Project’ in collaboration with BASICC.  The project will deliver the restoration and redevelopment of the former Ritz cinema as a vibrant Enterprise Centre facilitating much needed jobs, and the redevelopment of an existing public car park to create a new, high quality, multi-functional civic space with enhanced pedestrian linkages, parking and accessibility.

A €2million investment in the Ailt an Chorráin (Burtonport) Harbour Redevelopment will deliver a new Ferry Terminal Building and Enterprise Building at the Harbour, including new Ferry ticket offices, tourist information / community booths, public waiting area, public conveniences, Harbour Masters Office, meeting room facilities and a harbour viewing gallery.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Rena Donaghey welcomed the announcement: “This is a very important endorsement by government of the importance of investing in our rural towns to strengthen them as key service centres that can properly meet the needs of the wider rural population. This investment will re-energise Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Ballybofey-Stranorlar and Ailt an Chorráin as very vibrant, attractive and exciting places for their existing communities; it will also provide lots of spin-off opportunities for new and existing businesses, jobs creation, and increased investment generally. I would like to commend all involved for the work in developing these exciting projects and for the confidence placed in the potential of County Donegal.”

The winning design for Letterkenny’s Market Square can be viewed here: