‘The range and scale of investment coming into Sligo is unprecedented’. That’s according to Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive of Sligo County Council as he detailed the benefits to Sligo from a wide variety of job announcements and infrastructure, tourism and public realm projects, all set to advance with committed funding streams in 2019.
Describing the projects as ‘transformative for Sligo’, he was fulsome in his praise for the Council and staff for the stark contrast in Sligo’s fortunes when compared to the period immediately prior to the last local elections in 2014.
‘Sligo can now look forward to a period of growth, the infrastructure now being delivered will contribute to the growth of Sligo for many years to come.’
Over €220m is presently committed for investment in projects as diverse as the Western Distributor Road, East Garavogue Bridge, N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin upgrade, Surf Centre of Excellence in Strandhill, O’Connell Street upgrade, a cultural plaza in place of Stephen Street Car Park, development of a Yeats Trail around Sligo and a Mountain Bike Centre in Coolaney. There is also funding of over €1.1m for the enhancement of eleven of County Sligo’s towns and villages plus additional finance for waste water treatment plants and four social housing schemes throughout the County.
Source: John Breslin, Senior Lecturer, NUIG
Councillor Martin Baker, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, believes that the level of investment announced for Sligo in recent weeks will have a major impact on the county and the region. He said:
“I have long been concerned with the issues facing rural Ireland, but by working in partnership with other key local agencies, we have responded to the challenges and positioned Sligo as the economic driver of the region.
The formal designation of Sligo as a ‘Growth Centre’ under the National Planning Framework has the capacity to see all areas of our county grow and develop a renewed sense of optimism and vibrancy is palpable at local level.”
He considers the ability of the Council to attract significant funding for flagship projects, often in direct competition with other local authorities, to be a critical factor in this success.
“The investment and development proposals presented at the January Council meeting shows how far we have come in recent years and outlines a roadmap for positive times ahead. This investment will see work get underway on a range of tourism and infrastructure projects that will create around 300 construction jobs in the short term. After a number of very challenging years, we welcome the opportunity to harness local energy, ambition and pride, and to work together to secure our status as the economic, tourist and cultural capital of the Northwest.”