Waterford City & County Council welcomes today’s Government approval of €170.6m investment in North Quays Project
€100.6m in Urban Regeneration and Development Fund investment and €70m in National Transport Authority funding to open up access to Strategic Development Zone
The Government has today given approval for €170.6m of investment in the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary said, “This investment represents another significant step in bringing the development of the North Quays to reality and delivering a strategic economic and social catalyst for Waterford and the region.
“The North Quays will not only be a game changer for Waterford’s future economic development, but the benefits will also permeate the region’s environmental, tourism and cultural sectors.”
This transformative project will create a sustainable modern mixed-use development that will harness and extend Waterford’s city centre, whilst reinstating the primacy of the river by creating a compact and vibrant core centred on the River Suir.
The funding announced will deliver the public infrastructure that will serve both the SDZ site and the public, including enhanced multi-modal access routes, an integrated transport hub and the sustainable transport bridge. The award of a contract for the construction of this public infrastructure project is imminent and works will be complete in 2025.
Waterford’s new state of the art Transport Hub will be unique in Ireland and will put Waterford at the forefront of integrated city centre transport infrastructure, with train, bus, taxi, cycling and car parking all in one location. The North Quays will be connected to the heart of the city centre by a new sustainable transport bridge for pedestrians, bicycles, and a courtesy bus service.
The infrastructure will enable the commercial development on the SDZ Site, which will include offices, residential, retail, accommodation, and tourism investment in conference/exhibition facilities, as well as a 4-star hotel and visitor’s centre.
The proposed development also places a significant emphasis on improving the public realm through investment in new civic spaces, pedestrian facilities, and high-quality transport infrastructure which will connect Waterford and the South-East Greenways.
While elements of the project will have important transport and socio-economic benefits, the main objective is to leverage further investment in Waterford City and the region, by attracting indigenous and multinational companies and the retail and tourism sectors.
The development of the North Quays as a modern multi-purpose development on the North site of the city will increase employment, provide much needed high quality residential units, enhance the retail offer and build on Waterford’s reputation as the Best Place to Live in Ireland.
Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council also welcomed the announcement, “Today’s announcement is very much welcomed by Waterford City and County Council. It underpins the Government’s commitment to one of the biggest investments ever in the southeast.
“The transformative effects of this investment are guaranteed to bring significant benefits to the region and help make Waterford a better place to live, work and invest in.”
The direct benefit to Waterford of the investment in the SDZ Site is anticipated to be in excess of €350m over the next six years, with 200 people employed during construction and between 1,200 and 1,500 people employed in phase one of the development from 2025.
Sean McKeown, Acting Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council said, “Kilkenny County Council is delighted to partner with Waterford City and County Council in the URDF funded regeneration of the North Quays. This is a significant and strategic flagship project for the region,” while Cllr. Pat Fitzpatrick, Cathaoirleach, Kilkenny County Council also welcomed the investment in the southeast region.
The regeneration of the North Quays will also have a positive sustainable and environmental impact as it will enable development of a concentric city and allow access to zoned residential land closer to the city centre, reduce dependency on travel by private car and increase the modal shift of journeys in Waterford city towards walking and cycling, and optimise social cohesion with the creation of public realm corridors.
Notes to editors:
The overall level of estimated public infrastructure investment is €207m. This includes contracts for enabling works (demolition, site clearance, utility diversions, rock slope stabilisation, drainage & flood defence works, footpath widening) as well as the main construction contract for the bridge, transport hub and access roads.
The URDF is providing investment of €100.6m and the NTA is providing investment of €70m for the site, which was designated a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) by the Government in 2016. This was in recognition of the social and economic importance of the site to the State. It designated the Waterford North Quays area for mixed-use development.
The construction procurement process for the main public infrastructure works contract is nearing completion. A further announcement and details will be provided at the time of award of a contract.
In common with other proposed capital infrastructure projects currently under development, the estimated costs for the project have been significantly impacted by inflationary pressures over the past two years. The main construction contract and four enabling works contracts were tendered during 2021 and 2022. During this time construction tender prices rose significantly, primarily due to pent-up demand and supply chain issues following Covid lockdowns, as well as high energy and fuel prices arising from the invasion of Ukraine.
Structural steel is the predominant construction material being used on this project and steel prices have been particularly impacted by inflation, with prices rising over 60% in just 12 months to July 2022. These pressures have caused significant instability and uncertainty in the construction tender market with difficulties in securing acceptable or viable tender bids.
Tender prices for this project appropriately reflect these prevailing and ongoing market pressures and are within the overall project budget. These costs are also included in the Final Business Case for the project which has been approved and demonstrates that the project will deliver value for money for the proposed public investment.
NQ Critical deliverables:
- Sign contract with the successful Tenderer for the construction of the Access Infrastructure November 2022.
- Construction Works for the Access Infrastructure will commence on site at the end of March 2023.
- Completion of Access Infrastructure project in 2025.
SDZ mixed use commercial development
- Planning application to be submitted for the SDZ Development Q2 2023.
- Works to commence on the SDZ site in the second half of 2023.
- Completion of phase one of the North Quays SDZ development in 2025.