New Head of Enterprise at LEO Waterford

“I hope my experience in building relationships will enable the Local Enterprise Office to play a key role.”

Local Enterprise Office Waterford has a new Head of Enterprise. Gareth Evans, who joined the LEO and started in his new role on November 6th brings a wealth of expertise in enterprise and economic development with him.

With 20 years’ experience working in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, Gareth is looking forward to this new challenge, “Every role and every organisation brings a new set of opportunities and challenges, but I find it always revolves around people. Waterford as a City and Council is on the cusp of some remarkable developments, but this is on the back of years of work by those who have strived to bring Waterford to this stage. The indigenous business community, the multinationals who have made this their home and the organisations who help make it happen, none more so than the team at the Local Enterprise Office.

“I’m excited to take up this position and help the LEO drive Waterford business forward over the next few years. I hope my experience in building relationships will enable the Local Enterprise Office to play a key role. I like to work closely with business partners, building networks across all stakeholders. The onus is on both the public and the private sectors to work together using their unique positions to benefit Waterford going forward.”

Most recently Gareth was the Chief Technical Advisor and Team Leader of a four-year SME development programme in Zambia, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, operating under the Ministry of SME Development. He also led a team which developed a new national SME development policy and resulted in an increase in inward investment of over £83m, international trade contracts in excess of £25m and an increase in revenues of over 230% for participating businesses.

He was the lead economic development consultant on a programme for rural finance expansion impacting over 600,000 households & businesses, and managed global networks of economic development programmes and microfinance institutions.  “My work has included leading collaborative design workshops with local and national government, the private sector and general public, to produce economic development strategies, policy documents and implementation plans that meet the needs of local communities and businesses in complex and changing environments.”

Gareth can be contacted at Local Enterprise Office Waterford on the Mall in the City or Civic offices in Dungarvan, or via email on if you have any specific queries.

Local Enterprise Office Waterford is here to help you start a business, expand an existing business or reach new markets. It provides advice, information and supports in starting up or growing your business as part of a network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland.


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Published: Weekly Planning Lists for Waterford

Published: Weekly Planning Lists for Waterford

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A Trail of Light: New Tourism Horizons beckon for Waterford as “City of Lights” project launched

As dusk fell on November 30th, Waterford City transitioned into a vibrant spectacle of light and colour with the official launch of the “City of Lights” project.

An initiative by Waterford City and County Council, funded by Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Investment Scheme, this innovative project is set to illuminate the city’s iconic buildings and medieval walls at 19 strategic locations, promising a transformative experience for residents and visitors alike.

The “City of Lights” is a ground-breaking project designed to strengthen Waterford’s position as a key tourist destination.

By creating a trail of light connecting significant historic attractions and city zones, Waterford invites adventurers and culture enthusiasts to discover the city’s rich heritage. The illumination of buildings along the trail aims to extend visitor stays into the evening, capitalizing on the enhanced beauty and ambiance of our historical sites.

The light trail connects the four main areas of the city: the historical Viking Triangle, the vibrant Apple Market and City walls beyond, the retail spine, and the Cultural Quarter. This luminous trail unites these diverse districts, inviting all to explore their unique charm under the captivating glow of the night.

Speaking at the launch of this exciting project, Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr. Joe Conway said, “As we unveil the ‘City of Lights’ today, we’re not just switching on lights; we’re illuminating a new chapter in Waterford’s storied history.  This project is a testament to the Council’s dedication to heritage and innovation, casting our ancient city walls and architecturally noteworthy buildings in a transformative light. It’s shining a spotlight on our city’s charm and inviting the world to wander our streets anew.”

Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland, Orla Carroll said, “We’re so pleased to see the launch of the spectacular ‘City of Lights’ trail today. Animating urban areas is essential to transforming and re-imagining our public spaces as safe, welcoming and vibrant places to visit. Fáilte Ireland’s ongoing work in partnership with Waterford City and County Council focuses on developing new and unique reasons for people from at home and abroad to visit Waterford, and ‘City of Lights’ is a perfect example of this. Experiences like this will encourage visitors to stay longer, spend more and immerse themselves in the history, heritage and culture of Ireland’s oldest city.”

Understanding the importance of safety in urban exploration, the “City of Lights” enhances the sense of security for those venturing after dark. The strategically placed lighting fixtures not only serve to showcase Waterford’s architectural marvels but also contribute to a safer, more inviting night-time environment.

With the night-time economy in mind, this scheme unlocks the potential for new nocturnal tours and experiences. Visitors are encouraged to roam the illuminated pathways, engaging with the city’s stories and spaces in a novel way. The programmable lighting infrastructure also promises an array of visual spectacles during city festivals, ensuring that every visit to Waterford can offer a new and exciting narrative.

A Canvas for Innovation and Collaboration

Moreover, the “City of Lights” isn’t just a static display. It’s an opportunity for innovative projector designs that can evolve throughout the year. Collaborating with artists, these projections promise a dynamic canvas, where creativity and storytelling merge, offering a constantly changing visual narrative for all who traverse the city’s illuminated paths.

Project Manager with Waterford City and County Council, Ali Jay, added, “The ‘City of Lights’ represents a pivotal moment for Waterford, blending technology, history, and artistry. Our team has meticulously designed this trail of light to create immersive experiences, connecting the city’s historical treasures with the present.  Through this trail, generously backed by Fáilte Ireland funding, we’ve created a view into our rich past and vibrant present, promising a brighter future for all of Waterford.  This project will extend visitor engagement and enrich their experience into the evening hours. It’s a step towards a dynamic, safe, and visually appealling urban offering.”

Illuminating Heritage: A Beacon for History

Beyond the aesthetic enhancements, the “City of Lights” stands as a beacon, drawing attention to Waterford’s underappreciated historical assets. From the 15th century Beach Tower to the prominent French Tower, each beam of light serves as a tribute to Waterford’s storied past, bringing awareness and appreciation to the medieval city walls and other venerable structures.

As Waterford prepares to shine under the “City of Lights,” the Local Authority, alongside Fáilte Ireland, looks forward to welcoming all to a brighter and more resplendent urban experience.

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RIAI recognises Rupert Maddock for contribution to architecture

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has awarded the RIAI Gandon Medal to Rupert Maddock, BArch, MLA, FRIAI, for his contribution to the advancement of architecture.

The Gandon Medal is a lifetime achievement award that recognises a sustained output of quality of work over many years, and was presented by RIAI President Charlotte Sheridan MRIAI at a special reception at RIAI HQ in Merrion Square, Dublin on Thursday, November 30th, saying, “I am delighted to be awarding Rupert Maddock the RIAI Gandon Medal in recognition of his exceptional achievement in public practice, and the role he played in revitalising Waterford city, towns, and villages in the county.”

Rupert has enjoyed a long and rewarding career in architecture, having recently retired as City and County Architect with Waterford City and County Council.

A graduate of UCD and University of Pennsylvania, Rupert’s career has spanned over 40 years.  He joined the then Waterford Corporation in 1997.

Leading the Projects Team within the Economic Development and Planning Departments, the team has provided award-winning in-house architectural services to the Local Authority.

Transformational public realm projects, spearheaded by Rupert include the Millennium Project, which entailed the design of the William Vincent Plaza, and the design of John Roberts Square, creating a pedestrianised, decluttered and multi-purpose destination public realm space.

In addition to projects such as the redesign, development and conservation of the People’s Park, the Clock Tower, the Franciscan Friary and Mount Congreve, Rupert’s passion and undoubted forte is the preservation of Waterford’s rich history and heritage.

Under his tenure, Waterford has cultivated an enviable portfolio of museums, under the Waterford Treasures collective, which includes the Medieval Museum, The Bishop’s Palace, The Irish Museum of Time, the Irish Silver Museum and the latest addition, The Irish Wake Museum.

The Medieval Museum has received prestigious national and international accolades including the RIAI Irish Architecture Award for Best Public Building, the International UK Civic Trust Award and the EU prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council, paid tribute to Rupert on his achievement.  “For Rupert to be recognised by his peers for his contribution to architecture is only fitting.  Rupert’s dedication, vision and design ability have helped to transform Waterford to a best-in-class vibrant, accessible and rich city.

“He and his team have delivered almost thirty major projects that have had a tangible and positive impact on the lives of the people of Waterford.  From public realm works, to art installations and housing schemes, Rupert has played a key role in making design quality a key driver in all aspects of the cultural and economic development of the city and county.

“Rupert’s contribution has enriched the lives of the people of Waterford, and I would like to congratulate him on this outstanding achievement and thank him for his exceptional service with Waterford City and County Council.”


Image attached:

Rupert Maddock receiving the James Gandon Medal from RIAI President Charlotte Sheridan MRIAI (Image: WCCC)

Rupert Maddock was honoured with the Gandon Medal for Lifetime Achievement at the RIAI (Image: Conor Healy)

About the RIAI James Gandon Medal:The RIAI introduced the James Gandon Medal in 2011 and each President of the RIAI has the honour of selecting a recipient for the Medal during their two-year term of office.

Previous winners of the Gandon Medal were Shane de Blacam and the late Jonn Meagher (1947-2021); Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects; James Pike of OMP Architects; Des McMahon of Gilroy McMahon Architects; Dr Ronnie Tallon of Scott Tallon Walker Architects; and the US-based Irish architect Kevin Roche.

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Published: Weekly Planning Lists for Waterford

Published: Weekly Planning Lists for Waterford

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Waterford City & County Council win two awards at Chambers Ireland “Excellence in Local Government” Awards

Waterford City and County Council has been successful at the recent Chambers Ireland “Excellence in Local Government Awards”, with two category wins, for the Waterford Museums of Time and Silver, and Mount Congreve House and Gardens.

Waterford Museums of Time and Silver took top honours in the ‘Heritage and Built Environment’ category which celebrates best in class by a Local Authority to promote public interest in, and knowledge, appreciation and protection of local heritage sites.  The Museum of Time opened in 2021 with kind donations and support from David Boles, Colman Curran and Liz Clooney, and is the only museum dedicated to horology and timekeeping on the island of Ireland.  The Irish Silver Museum also opened its doors in 2021 in the old Deanery Building on Cathedral Square, Waterford with benefactors Noel and Stephanie Frisby generously donating to its establishment and displays.

Mount Congreve House and Gardens, lauded as ‘One of the Great Gardens of the World’, clinched the title, amid stiff competition, in the ‘Supporting Tourism’ category. This award highlights the efforts of Waterford City and County Council in enriching local tourism and encouraging community appreciation of regional attractions.

The transformative investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens has resulted in a world-class visitor experience, as well as a café, and retail offering. The estate also boasts a variety of walking paths, each adorned with creative displays that vividly narrate its long history.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said the recognition by Chambers Ireland was a great endorsement of the projects and the Local Authority’s investment in them.  He praised the Council’s commitment to initiating and advancing such exceptional initiatives, saying:

“I am delighted to see Waterford City and County Council recognised on a national platform for their commitment in initiating and driving such wonderful projects.  Both Mount Congreve and The Museums of Time and Silver are very deserving winners in their respective categories.  Waterford has an enviable tourism offering, and it is great to see the work of our Council endorsed in the wider community in such a positive way.

Waterford City and County Council’s strong performance at the awards was also highlighted by four other shortlisted projects, in a diverse range of categories.

Alongside its wins, the Council’s shortlisted projects included Tramore Town Centre Public Realm Works in the ‘Urban Revival’ category, and the proactive Ukrainian Refugee Response in the ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ category. Their innovative communication strategy was showcased in ‘A Celebration of Waterford as Ireland’s Best Place to Live’, shortlisted in the ‘Communications’ category, while the Council’s commitment to environmental sustainability was evident in the ‘Climate Change’ category with the Business Rates Waiver initiative.

Commending all the projects put forward, Director of Economic Development at Waterford City & County Council, Michael Quinn commented:

“Our diverse array of projects reflect our commitment to not only address current community needs but also to proactively shape a sustainable future for Waterford. Each project, regardless of its category here tonight, is a step towards our vision of an inclusive, dynamic, and environmentally conscious city and county.”

The Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards are sponsored by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and took place in Dublin on November 23rd.


Posted in Arts / Culture, Awards, Community Alerts, Mount Congreve, Viking Triangle | Leave a comment

Works progressing well on North Quays Infrastructure Project

It’s almost a year to the day since Waterford City and County Council and BAM entered into contract for the construction of the new integrated transport hub at the North Quays, a sustainable transport bridge, as well as enhanced multi-modal access infrastructure.

In the twelve months since contracts were exchanged works have been progressing well and are scheduled to be complete in 2025.  That progress is very evident on the ground, with works continuing in all areas of the site and construction cranes dotting the skyline.

Two of the cofferdams required for the foundations of the Sustainable Transport Bridge are now substantially complete and these works will continue in 2024. The piers require the construction of four cofferdams, a watertight enclosure to allow construction work below the waterline. The cofferdams are created by driving interlocking piles through the bed of the River Suir to form the watertight enclosures. The water is then pumped out of the cofferdam to create a dry workspace to facilitate the construction of the pier foundations.

Meanwhile the steel superstructure for the bridge is being fabricated in Belgium and will be transported to Waterford to be lifted into position once the foundations and piers are complete.  Works have also commenced on the Southern landing point with sheet piling works visible from the South Quays.

Piling and foundations for the new Public Transport Hub and rail platforms are also close to completion and the construction of the main building block is underway.

Five new access bridges that will provide multi-modal access over the rail corridors providing connectivity between the Ferrybank area, the Greenway corridor, Public Transport Hub, Sustainable Transport Bridge, and the North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) development are simultaneously under construction.

Commenting on the programme of works, Michael Quinn, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council said, “The North Quays Infrastructure project is advancing on time and on budget. In the space of a year the volume and scale of works is very apparent with activity to the North of the Strategic Development Zone site, the South Plaza and in the River Suir.”

“While roadworks and associated traffic management continue to operate on Dock Road in Ferrybank, and are being managed to minimise delays and disruption, Waterford City and County Council appreciates the public’s cooperation during the construction phase, and we will endeavour to continue to engage actively and directly with local communities and stakeholders.”

Mark Phelan, Construction Director with BAM added, “’We are delighted with the progress on this project, which stems from the collaboration with Waterford City and County Council, the design team ROD, our supply chain partners, our workforce and the local community working together as a team.

“We are also pleased to be collaborating with South East Technological University (SETU) in using the project as a living laboratory for SETU students via our ‘Building a Bridge to Education’ programme to enrich their hands-on construction experience in parallel to their academic modules.

“We are committed to delivering this project in a sustainable way that will boost the quality of life, the economy, and the sustainability of the region, and are very satisfied that our sustainability initiatives on the project are yielding positive results.”

Separately, the works contracts for the relocation of the Ferrybank Pump Station will be complete in early 2024. An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the Western Rail Flood Defence and Integrated Drainage System in February this year.

The overall 2.4km system will provide flood protection for both existing and new rail infrastructure and make it climate resilient into the future. The design of the system is being advanced, and construction will commence in 2024.

Harcourt Developments are currently finalising their planning scheme for the private SDZ development for submission to Waterford City & County Council. The mixed-use development will include significant residential accommodation, as well as office and hotel accommodation, retail offerings and high-quality public realm spaces. Construction of the private SDZ development is anticipated to start in 2024.

Harcourt Developments is a Dublin-based property development and management company with a broad portfolio of award-winning projects.

Their portfolio boasts Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, Northern Ireland’s most important regeneration project.  Located in the world-famous birthplace of Titanic and home to the Game of Thrones television production, Titanic Quarter is a vibrant, mixed-use scheme with over 1.8 million sq.ft. (140,000 sqm.) of commercial space, plus residential, retail, and hospitality and tourism spaces. Titanic Belfast is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.


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Published: Agenda for Statutory Budget Meeting 2024

Our Statutory Budget Meeting Agenda for 2024 has been published, and will be discussed at the Plenary Meeting of Waterford City and County Council, to be held in the Council Chamber, City Hall, The Mall, Waterford on Tuesday 28th November, 2023 at 2:00p.m

You can access the full agenda at the Waterford Council website or directly via this link:

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€100,000 in Outdoor Recreation Funding Announced for Waterford

On Tuesday, November 21st, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys announced funding of almost €2.3 million nationally to support the development of 50 outdoor adventure projects across Ireland.

The investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will be key to enhancing outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

As part of this announcement two Waterford projects received a very welcome funding boost; Blackwater River Valley Outdoor Recreation Plan and Comeragh Mountains Outdoor Recreation Management Plan.

The Project Development Measures will fund the preparatory work required to bring large scale outdoor recreation projects to a shovel-ready stage.

Each project will receive €50,000 in funding under this round of ORIS funding with a minimum of a further 10% in funding being contributed by Waterford City and County Council. It is envisaged that the projects will be implemented in 2024.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed the funding announcement saying, “This funding announcement is significant for Waterford, as it will drive the impetus to bring these two large-scale projects to fruition.

“Waterford’s successful projects are located within two areas of outstanding scenic beauty namely the Blackwater River Valley and the Comeragh Mountains, and the development of these high quality recreation opportunities will only serve to enhance the areas and the communities within.”

Blackwater River Valley Outdoor Recreation entails the design of improved river access points to facilitate water-based activities at Ballyduff Upper and Lismore to include developing designs to planning stage, environmental assessments and submission of the resultant planning application. This work will build on a feasibility which was undertaken in 2022 to look at the potential of the Blackwater River Valley for Blueway, water trail and related land based outdoor recreation opportunities. It will also greatly add to ongoing projects in both Cappoquin and Villierstown seeking to enhance access to the River Blackwater for recreation.

Comeragh Mountains Outdoor Recreation Management Plan will see the development and management of high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities in the Comeragh Mountains focusing on core environmental, conservation, landscape, and socio-economic factors.

Widespread stakeholder and community engagement are planned as part of the preparation of this plan which will be consistent with objectives contained within the Waterford City and County Development Plan 2022 to 2028.

Similar to the River Blackwater project, the process of preparing the plan will very much consider the unique characteristics of this wonderful upland landscape.

The Rural Economic Development team in Waterford City and County Council looks forward to working with the local communities on these exciting projects in 2024.


Posted in Community Alerts, Funding | Leave a comment