Some two years back, Waterford City and County Council, working in collaboration with Waterford Leader Partnership, Cappoquin Regeneration Company, Tomar Trust and the local community, was successful in being allocated some €1.2 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).
This funding was further bolstered by match funding provided by the Council and by Tomar Trust. This was designated as Category 2 funding i.e. funding to facilitate the design, planning and preparation of regeneration projects.
The emphasis on this phase of development was very much to identify and prepare projects which would address five main issues:
· Vacancy and dereliction in the town centre
· Lack of recent investment in the town centre’s public domain
· Lack of appropriate enterprise and housing opportunities
· The potential in improving access to the River Blackwater
· The lack of community and tourist-oriented recreational infrastructure
In the meantime, Waterford City and County Council, working closely with Cappoquin Regeneration Company has acquired a number of derelict and vacant properties, has procured architectural designs for same and has advanced them to a point of planning permission.
Likewise, there is design work on-going, again much with appropriate planning in place, to improve the physical appearance and attractiveness of the town centre, access to the river, the creation of a number of new recreational trails as well as the development of an innovative town centre housing pilot. The collaborative approach currently being taken in Cappoquin is cited in the government’s new “Town Centre First” policy which was unveiled last week.
Side by side with this are other ongoing initiatives in the town e.g. the development of Blackwater House as a new enterprise centre, a Town and Village Renewal Scheme which provided €120,000 for improvements to some 45 properties on Main Street and the work of Waterford Sports Partnership in the onward development of the West Waterford rural Sports Hub centred around Cappoquin.
Waterford City and County Council is now in a position to advance an application for the next round of RRDF funding which will take a number of projects from design through to construction and delivery.
To this effect, the Council is hosting a Public Consultation in Cappoquin Community Centre on the evening of Tuesday, 22nd February from 7.00 – 9.00 p.m. to which all the community and any interested parties are invited.
The purpose of the meeting will be to inform the attendees of progress to date, to outline the plans for further development and to get the community’s view as to the proposed projects and to discuss other potential developments which can aid in Cappoquin’s regeneration drive.
Cappoquin is a town with a great sense of heritage and past endeavour but is now time to also look forward and to ensure future vibrancy, sustainability and growth for this gorgeous town. It behoves everybody in the community to contribute to that future, to have their voices heard and to work together for the greater common good of Cappoquin and surrounding areas.