2023 a year of huge progress for Our Balbriggan project - Our Balbriggan

2023 a year of huge progress for Our Balbriggan project

It has been a year of huge progress for the €50million Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Programme, the Chairperson of the Our Balbriggan Leadership Group has confirmed.

The plan, which is set to transform the town through public investment, has seen work commence on a number of key infrastructure projects central to the massive initiative.

“Four years on from the launch of the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Programme 2019-2025, the bricks and mortar transformation of Ireland’s youngest town is now beginning to take real shape,” said the Chair of the Our Balbriggan Leadership Group, Professor Brian MacCraith.

“There has been huge progress in 2023. The ambitious vision contained in the Rejuvenation Programme was the result of an historic community engagement which saw more than 25 per cent of Balbriggan’s residents outline their preferences for the future of the town.”

Another step forward in the delivery of projects under the €50m Our Balbriggan Regeneration project was marked with the opening of a temporary Pocket Park at 14 Bridge Street Front row (l-r): Robert Cody, Assistant Parks and Landscape Officer, Fingal County Council Parks Department; Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Grainne Maguire; Kevin Halpenny, Senior Parks and Landscape Officer, Fingal County Council; Cllr Karen Power and AnneMarie Farrelly Chief Executive, Fingal County Council. Back row: Cast members of the Lark Concert Hall’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ pantomime. Pic: Fintan Clarke.

According to the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Programme will transform the town.

“I very much welcome the progress to date and look forward to the outcomes which will have an incredibly positive impact,” he said.

Following the appointment of a contractor, work will begin on the re-development of the Quay Street and Harbour area – including the RNLI Boathouse – in 2024, with upgrade works on the Uisce Éireann pumping station due to be completed in late Spring.

While the Quay Street car park is now closed, the Town Centre car park continues to operate as normal and alternative temporary car parking has been provided at Bath Road and Bremore Castle Car Park, where upgrades are ongoing. 

The Quay Street and Harbour redevelopment is due to be completed in 2025.

Significant improvement works to harbour facilities are nearing completion, including utility and waste services to protect and enhance fishing along with additional lighting, seating and other measures on the East Pier.

These works are part of the overall vision to bring the harbour, pier and lighthouse into wider use as public amenities.

With the demolition of 14 Bridge Street now complete, annexes and outbuildings to the rear of 6a-12 Bridge Street (De Bruns) are now also being demolished.

An Integrated Design Team will shortly be appointed to the project. Early and on-going stakeholder engagement will take place throughout the design process. It is estimated work will begin at the site in 2026.

A temporary pocket park has been opened in the location and the front facade of the buildings facing on to Bridge Street are to be maintained to preserve the street line. The buildings are within an architectural conservation area.

The Integrated Design Team will look at preparing a residential and mixed-use development design brief for the possible best uses for the site.

Initial works at the site of the bathhouse and boathouse will commence shortly and an in-depth survey and assessment of the site and buildings will follow.

This will inform a full works design and planning proposal as well as a likely timeline for completion. Plans for a swim shelter are currently being progressed by Fingal County Council.

The granting of planning permission for a Creative Hub at 2-4 Dublin Street was another key milestone.

Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said she was encouraged by the important developments in the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Programme in 2023.

“We look forward to working with the local community to deliver the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Programme for the benefit of the people of the town, ensuring a great place to live, work and do business. I am pleased to note a year of real progress in 2023, ” she said.  A review of the Our Balbriggan Leadership Group and its Pillar Groups will be completed in March 2024 to future proof governance