€13 million sought to turn Tullamore Harbour in 'Grand Canal Dock'
A Grand Canal Dock-style development in Tullamore has moved another step closer after Waterways Ireland, in partnership with Offaly County Council, recently submitted a Category B application for funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2018.
The Offaly Express has learned that the initial funding bid under the scheme is seeking €13 million to further the proposals.
This funding bid is to help "progress the vision to develop Tullamore Harbour as a vibrant waterfront development in the heart of Tullamore, and to re-brand the area as Grand Canal Dock Tullamore," a Waterways Ireland spokesperson told the Offaly Express.
The development would comprise of office space, an enterprise hub, residential, arts/conferencing and leisure facilities. It has also been suggested y sources close to the proposals that a hotel development may form part of the site.
"The ambition is to revitalise the harbour area so that it once more is an integral part of the town of Tullamore and an economic generator for the town and wider environs," the Waterways Ireland spokesperson added.
"Tullamore Harbour is a 3.1 acre site, all in public ownership, comprising 1.5 acres of water and 1.6 acres of land. The harbour has effectively been cut off from the town of Tullamore since the decline of trading on the Grand Canal and does not maximise its worth in adding value to the local economy."
Currently, Waterways Ireland’s operational depot operates from the harbour, behind high walls and dilapidated buildings.
"Waterways Ireland is currently in the process of identifying a suitable greenfield site in the Tullamore area for relocation of its operational depot and, subject to planning, hope that work can commence to enable the Harbour area to be vacated for subsequent development," the spokesperson added.
"The Harbour area has the potential to offer a complete package for businesses, residents, those taking part in recreational and social activities, and tourists and could become a major destination hub in the Midlands," they concluded.