NEW GROUP OF TRADERS AND RESIDENTS SET UP TO PUSH FOR REGENERATION OF BRIDGE STREET AND SURROUNDING AREAS
A new group made up of traders and residents has been established to push for the regeneration of Bridge Street and surrounding areas.
The move comes after it was revealed last month that the St Nicholas Quarter, an area taking in Bridge Street, Church Street, Patrick Street, Linenhall Street, the Fair Green and the Castletown Road, would not be included in the planned €4.4 million upgrade of Clanbrassil Street due to proceed next year.
While the works, which were given the go ahead after an EU grant was secured in January 2016, were originally due to include these additional areas, it will now stop at St Nicholas Church due to budgetary constraints.
The newly established Bridge Street Community Traders and Residents’ Regeneration Association recently met with Louth Council Council and their consultants to preview the plans for the investment.
They explained: “The Council secured funding to improve the town from the Square to the Bridge, but they’ve since decided to cut Bridge Street out of the plan for budget reasons.”
They feel that this area of the town has been repeatedly ignored and have called for action to be taken to rejuvenate it.
They said: “Historically, Bridge Street has been repeatedly excluded from improvement works and investment and now suffers from almost 40% vacant rates, much of which is due to properties having fallen into significant disrepair and dereliction. However, there remains a strong community of independent Traders and Residents who want their environment regenerated and treated as part of the town centre.
“Bridge Street has the potential to be a thriving community of traders and residents again and also play an important role in the communities along the Castletown Road, the Newry Road and Legion Avenue. Bridge Street is their high street, and they deserve to have it back! We have been overlooked for far too long, and now want action to be taken urgently, before the street gets any worse.”
The group, having recently met with Council CEO Joan Martin, Director of Services Frank Pentony and Chief Engineer Pat Finn are now calling on Louth County Council to make a firm commitment to address the urgent need to regenerate the area, for the benefit of this key segment of Dundalk’s high street.
Specific actions which the group is calling on include:
- Include Bridge Street in their plans to improve the high street in 2018 – 2019
- Create a masterplan on Bridge Street’s regeneration as part of the town centre improvement plans
- Include Bridge Street in the Clanbrassil Street / Church Street Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) to enable owners to access funding through the Structures at Risk 2018 fund