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New online tracker ‘gives unique insight into progress of Laois’s €18.2 million Urban Regional Development Fund projects’

The Government has launched a new interactive tool which “gives unique insight into progress of Laois’s €18.2 million Urban Regional Development Fund (URDF) projects.”

Announced in 2018, the URDF covers close to 400 projects across Ireland for funding of almost €2 billion as part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040.

The funding is designed to support projects that enable new housing, commercial, and community developments to be delivered within cities and major towns.

Government say the goal of the URDF is “to create attractive and vibrant places for people to live and work, as well as to invest in and to visit.”

Portlaoise is the only town in Laois which currently qualifies for the funding and has received €18.2m in funding, allocated three projects.

While these projects have been in the news throughout the last year, the launch of the new online project tracker will finally give the people of Laois a clear outline for the full scale of these three projects.

“With the help of this interactive tool, users can easily navigate through the different URDF projects and gain valuable information about their status, milestones, and impact,” the Government says.

“It provides a user-friendly interface that allows stakeholders, residents, and interested individuals to stay informed about the ongoing developments in their area.”

The tracker can be viewed here.

The three Portlaoise projects are as follows:

Portlaoise – A Cultural Quarter

This project, allocated €7,192,349, aims to create a Cultural Quarter around the original historic settlement core of Portlaoise.

There are 11 sub-projects:

  • Fort Protector
  • Scoil Mhuire Refurbishment
  • Old St Peter’s Graveyard
  • New County Library
  • New Street to River Triogue
  • Convent Urban Garden
  • Work to the Hapenny School
  • Car and Bicycle Park at CBS lands
  • Access Platform to Old Turret
  • Outdoor Performance and Event Space
  • Design Team for Interpretive Audio Visual

Portlaoise – A Low Carbon Town

€2,026,373 has been set aside to assist in delivering on elements of Portlaoise 2040 – A Vision for Portlaoise.

The public strategy identified the need to remove car dominance from the Town Centre; to address the poor pedestrian experience; and encourage the modal shift to cycling throughout the wider town.

There are 6 sub-projects:

  • Triogue Blueway
  • Portlaoise Cycle Route Extension
  • Solar Compactor Bins
  • EV Charging Points
  • Low Energy Lighting Upgrade
  • Park and Stride

Portlaoise – Placemaking for a Low Carbon Town

€9 million has been designated to make Portlaoise “an exemplar Low Carbon Town,” which “seeks to compliment, embellish and build on the development of the Cultural Quarter.”

The Government say the focus is to “provide a more attractive environment which will accommodate more people in the town centre by re-connecting the old and new towns resulting in a walkable ‘green’ town centre.”

There are three sub-groups:

  • Cultural Quarter connection to Main St
  • Market Square, Main Street
  • James Fintan Lalor Avenue

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