North Quays

Developer behind Belfast's Titanic Quarter confirmed for €550m Waterford regeneration project

The project, which has been plagued by false starts, appears to be back on track.

THE DEVELOPER BEHIND the regeneration of the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast has been unveiled as the new private partner for a €550 million project in Waterford city. 

Harcourt Developments is to take on the long-awaited regeneration project of the city’s North Quays, which earlier today received fresh backing from the Government following the approval of €170 million in funding.

It was described as the “largest urban regeneration project in the country” by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien following the signing off on fresh funding by the Cabinet. 

Offices, residential and retail units are in the plans, which include a 4-star hotel and visitor’s centre.

The Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is providing investment of €100.6m and the National Transport Authority is providing investment of €70m for the site, which was designated a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) by the Government in 2016. 

The overall level of estimated public infrastructure investment is €207m, with Waterford Council and Kilkenny County Council both contributing to the project. A spokesperson for Waterford Council told The Journal that €350m of private sector investment is expected. 

False starts

Works on the empty eight hectare site have been plagued by false starts over recent decades.

The most recent arose last year when the local authority terminated its contract with the Saudi-based developer over claims it was unable to meet the funding requirements. 

The site is on the north bank of the River Suir, opposite Waterford city, and has been empty since the port moved downriver a number of decades ago.  

Waterford City and County Council chief executive Michael Walsh told elected councillors at a meeting this evening that Harcourt has a significant track record in regenerating waterfront sites, including the Titanic Quarter in Belfast and Spencer Docks regeneration in Liverpool.

Included in the company’s portfolio is Park West Plaza in Dublin and shopping centres in Galway, Donaghmede, Letterkenny and Limerick.

Walsh said the project will be supported by development agency the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif).

As part of the project, the city’s train station will be relocated east towards the centre of the North Quay, while a new pedestrian and cycle bridge is planned linking the North Quays and the city centre south of the River Suir. 

A statement from the Department of Housing said the project is expected to increase economic activity in the South-East and counteract historical under investment in the region.

Today’s Government approval of Waterford City and County Council’s final business case enables the council to appoint a contractor. The contract for the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project is expected to be signed by the end of November.

Works are due to commence on the site in March 2023 and be completed in 2025, according to the Department of Housing.

The site is expected to be brought before councillors to be disposed to Harcourt in the coming weeks. Similarly, land transfers are expected to take place between the council and Irish Rail to ensure the smooth relocation and realignment of the railway line. 

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