€11m. funding injection for Castlebar's Imperial Hotel, old Post Office and Military Barracks site
Former Imperial Hotel to become an Innovation Hub
Old Post Office to be repurposed as a Community Youth Resource Centre
Military Barracks site set for major facelift
Mayo Fine Gael Deputy Alan Dillon has welcomed confirmation that €11 million in urban regeneration funding has been awarded to Castlebar for works on the former Imperial Hotel at the Mall, the old Post Office at Mountain View and the Military Barracks at Rock Square in the town.
Mayo County Council submitted two applications to the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) and both have been approved by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Deputy Dillon said: “I recently highlighted that urban regeneration funding is no longer a luxury, but a real necessity for the beating heart of our urban centres.
"I have been working with Ministers Darragh O’Brien and Peter Burke at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to secure this funding.
"These projects have the potential to develop large parts of Castlebar as a thriving hub for business, residents and the wider community.
“The Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative will fund a strategic renewal from the Military Barracks at Rock Square, through the Mall and onto Ellison Street/Mountain View.
"A sum of €8.527m. has been secured to provide a mechanism to stimulate and redress vacant deterioration of historic properties that frame the Mall and will specifically repurpose the former Imperial Hotel as an innovation hub and rejuvenate its formal historic setting while the former Castlebar Post Office will be repurposed as a Community Youth Resource Centre.
“The Castlebar Military Barracks Reuse and Regeneration funding will stretch from Rock Square through the Military Barracks and out as far as the roundabout at the entrance to Castle Street car park.
"A further €2.5m in funding will allow for detailed design works, site works, restoration of the public realm and capital funding for repurposing works.
"This additional €2.5 million will compliment the previously awarded €2.5m funding acquired under round 1 off the URDF back in November 2018 where contracts were signed earlier this week by Mayo County Council to extend the Greenway through the town centre and start civil works at the Military Barracks.
“We owe it to the Castlebar community, nearby residents and traders in that area who support each other continuously, and thankfully the area will now receive substantial government funding.
"I certainly want a situation where these ‘old’ buildings instil a sense of pride versus the reality of their deteriorated condition at present.
"I have informed the ministers that I am confident these projects have the potential to become flagship projects for the URDF and their department.”
“The URDF is one of four funds set up under the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
"The fund was set-up in 2018 by the last Fine Gael-led government and provides an excellent opportunity to secure the necessary funding to address the shortcomings in town centre public realms.
"Thankfully, we now have both the plan and the funding to undertake these urban renewal projects in Castlebar that will serve as a real example of how to utilise urban regeneration funding and to get it right.
"I am really excited about these projects as they will be a real game-changer to Castlebar, and I am hoping they can be replicated around other Mayo towns in future rounds of funding under the URDF.”
In a statement, Deputy Michael Ring stated: “I am very pleased to be informed that both the Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative and Castlebar Military have received significant funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.
"This is something that I have been working on for the past two years.
“Funding in the amount of €8,527,500 has been allocated to Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative and funding in the amount of €2,500,000 has been allocated to Castlebar Military Barracks.
“The Castlebar Military Barracks project will allow for the regeneration and reuse of a landmark building located very close to the town centre.
"This project will consist of major enhancements to the area including the connections with the Mall and Greenway, as well as the restoration of all historic buildings including the billet blocks and gatehouse.
"This funding will allow for repurposing the former Daly’s (Imperial) Hotel as an Innovation Hub and rejuvenate this dominating building facing onto The Mall.
"Another aspect of the project will include repurposing the former Castlebar Post Office as a Community Youth Resource Centre”.
“I am very pleased to see two very worthwhile projects in Mayo being allocated such substantial funding.
"It is a very welcome boost to Castlebar and the surrounding areas."
Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers said the Castlebar Historic Core Reactivation Initiative Project is designed to address the deterioration of the historic properties that frame The Mall, which is Castlebar’s historic urban core.
She explained: "Specifically the funding will be used to repurpose the former Imperial Hotel as an innovation hub and rejuvenate its formal setting - The Mall.
"The innovation hub element will be developed in conjunction with the GMIT and will also provide for some remote working facilities.
"The funding will also be used to repurpose the former Castlebar post office as a community youth resource centre and to prepare urban master plans to redress dereliction and vacant properties about the vicinity of the Mall including rock square.
"The Castlebar Military Barracks project is a multi-phase project that has already benefited from some initial funding.
"Overall the project will cost in the region of €30 million with the concept being to transform the former Military Barracks in Castlebar into an inspiring civic space, visitor attraction and centre of excellence in sustainable energy and creative industries.
"This project has the potential to significantly improve enterprise facilities for creative industries in the county and provide a much-needed all-weather venue for festivals, events and local markets.
"The announcement today is for further funding of €2.5m to finance detailed design, planning and essential enabling works to existing buildings.
"Both projects will see a complete overhaul and transformation of our shared public spaces and will provide a much needed boost to the local economy of Castlebar.
"These works will modernise the county town and make Castlebar a better place to live and work for all its residents and visitors.
"I was pleased to work directly with Minister O'Brien to make the case for both projects and ensure delivery of this funding.
"I want to acknowledge and thank the team at Mayo County Council and Iarla Moran, haead of Castlebar Municipal District, who worked extremely hard to develop and propose two top-class projects to send to the department, the applications would not have been successful were it not for the considerable preparatory work that went into the proposal from the council."