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Government approval of €170.6m investment in Waterford’s North Quays paves way for Ireland’s largest urban regeneration project

  • Project will facilitate new mixed-use quarter, enhancing offering of South-East
  • €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. This project will improve sustainable access between Waterford’s North Quays and the city centre (south of the river Suir) and enable development at the North Quays’ Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).  Opening up the SDZ site is expected to increase economic activity in the South-East and counteract historical underinvestment 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.  

This Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) project’s main contract consists of three transport-focussed infrastructure sub-projects:


  1. An integrated transport hub through relocation of the existing train station and the formation of a new integrated, more central public transport interchange on brownfield sites to the north of the river Suir
  2. A sustainable transport corridor through the construction of a new sustainable transport bridge (facilitating pedestrian/cyclist/public transport). The bridge will link the North and South Quays. It will also create an urban greenway facilitating a connection between the existing Waterford to Dungarvan Greenway and the proposed Waterford to New Ross Greenway.
  3. City Centre Access – this project will result in improved site-access roads and bridge structures at North Quays


Welcoming today’s decision, which will involve €100.6m of URDF funding, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said: “Today’s Government decision is good news for Waterford. It enables the largest urban regeneration project in the country to begin, paving the way for Waterford to enhance its offering as an attractive place in which to live, work, visit and invest.


“This investment will create jobs and facilitate a new city quarter with a mix of commercial, retail and tourist offerings and an estimated three hundred new homes. The Government’s National Planning Framework aims to make Waterford a ‘Regional City of Scale’, driving regional growth. This investment will help achieve that objective. I look forward to working with Waterford City and County Council, the National Transport Authority and others to help transform the North Quays.”


The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, welcomed the decision, saying:

“This significant Government investment in infrastructure will drive economic development in Waterford and the South-East more widely. The infrastructural project will create jobs and the development of the Strategic Development Zone will enhance the city’s economic, commercial and tourist offering and improve the quality of life for people living in the city. “The Government’s National Planning Framework is clear in relation to Waterford being a city of regional development, and the growth of the wider region. Today’s funding announcement shows we are matching that aim with Government investment.” 


The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, said:

“I am delighted to support the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project which will provide for sustainable transport-orientated development in Waterford city. I welcome the new homes, urban regeneration and sustainable transport infrastructure that will be delivered by the project over the next few years. This includes a new bridge for easier walking and cycling over the River Suir and the movement of the existing train station to a better, more suitable, location. This new hub was identified as a Pathfinder Project by the Department of Transport a few weeks ago, as a shining example of how we need to integrate transport and community. I am pleased to announce that my Department is contributing €70 million towards this project, which will be of such benefit to Waterford city and its people.”


Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said:

"The NTA welcomes the Government approval to invest in the delivery of the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project which is a key delivery in the Waterford Transport Strategy. Combined with the delivery of BusConnects and CycleConnects, this project will provide more opportunities for the people of Waterford to make more sustainable choices for their travel."


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.”


The new public infrastructure being provided will act as leverage for private sector development of the SDZ site. This will lead to the creation of a new city quarter and extension to the existing city centre. It will comprise offices, retail, residential (c. 300), tourism, investment in conference/exhibition facilities, a hotel and visitors centre. This plan-led, holistic and sustainable approach to development supports the Government’s National Planning Framework National Strategic Outcomes, including compact growth, enhanced regional accessibility, sustainable mobility and transition to a Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Society.




Notes to Editor


Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project


  • Today (Wednesday November 9) the Government gave final approval at Decision Gate 3 of the Public Spending Code (PSC) for this URDF-funded Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project.


  • 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 new public infrastructure to be provided will act as leverage for private sector development of the SDZ site, which will lead to a new city quarter and extension to the existing city centre to comprise offices, retail, residential (approximately 300 new homes are envisaged), tourism, investment in conference/exhibition facilities, a hotel and visitors centre. 


  • Critical deliverables for Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project:
    1. Sign contract with the successful Tenderer for the construction of the Access Infrastructure November 2022.
    2. Construction Works for the Access Infrastructure will commence on site at the end of March 2023.
    3. Completion of Access Infrastructure project in 2025.


SDZ mixed-use commercial development

  1. Planning application to be submitted for the SDZ Development in Q2 2023.
  2. Works to commence on the SDZ site in the second half of 2023.
  3. Completion of phase one of the North Quays SDZ development in 2025.


Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF)


  • In 2018, the Government launched the URDF to support more compact and sustainable development.  The Fund is providing part-funding for projects that will enable a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and large towns. It does this whilst ensuring that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit. 


  • The URDF is one of four funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and has a total allocation of €2 billion to 2030, with €159 million available to fund URDF-supported projects in 2022. Already, the URDF is providing assistance for 132 projects that will contribute to the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.  


  • In keeping with the aims of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and Project Ireland 2040, the URDF demonstrates a new and more tailored approach to the provision of Government support. Over its planned duration up to 2030, URDF support will be targeted in an integrated, dynamic and responsive way to support the regeneration and rejuvenation of our towns and cities.  


  • In mid-2019, approval in principle and provisional funding allocations issued in respect of 87 major projects across the country under the first call for proposals.  This significant pipeline of projects is set to have a transformational impact in urban areas across the country.  Through the URDF, successful applicants are receiving targeted integrated support for innovative holistic solutions to the issues that have hindered the regeneration and rejuvenation of our large towns and cities. 
  • This significant pipeline of projects is set to have a transformational impact in urban areas across the country.  These projects offer a good regional spread, and span a number of themes, and the diversity of this first tranche of projects demonstrates the broad focus and responsive nature of the Fund.  The sum total of provisional allocations to date in respect of these 87 projects is just under €300m.  
  • Call 2 was announced in 2020, with a primary focus on contributing to compact growth objectives through integrated urban developments, strategic development areas combining a number of elements and schemes that support wider climate action objectives and liveability factors within our cities and towns. Approval in principle was given for funding support of €1.3 billion for 45 projects. 


  • Through the URDF, the NPF is now being underpinned by significant targeted infrastructural capital investment that will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration and development and growth.  In this regard the IDA has already acknowledged the important role that the URDF is playing in the creation of a sense of place, something which is considered essential for increasing Ireland’s attractiveness to foreign investment and strengthening opportunities for indigenous enterprise. 
  • The programme has been very well received and supported and the Department is working closely with the successful applicants to advance these projects as quickly as possible. 
  • More information on the URDF can be found at