A new harbour, free WiFi and a skate park are just some of the elements of an ambitious €20 million-plus investment to make Balbriggan the “envy of the country”.
The public are being encouraged to have an input into plans for a major rejuvenation project to give the seaside town a much-needed economic and social facelift.
Balbriggan Leadership Group and Fingal County Council hope the transformation will put the town firmly on the map for tourists and provide amenities for young people.
Proposals include a new river park which will flow through new public areas in the town down to a reimagined harbour and marina and link up with a new greenway.
Council chief executive Paul Reid said: “The plan goes much deeper than public spaces and amenities. It will involve every area of local lives – employment, education, skills, local economy and enterprise, and community affairs and integration.”
Mr Reid acknowledged that antisocial behaviour had become an issue and said the local authority was keen to include input from gardai, the HSE, social protection and business communities.
He said: “If you don’t look at the growth of Balbriggan in a strategic way, you’re leaving yourself wide open to the potential growth of drug gangs, new young drug gangs between various different communities, including non-Irish. That’s an element of it.”
DCU president Brian MacCraith, who is head of the leadership group for the development, said that the new public amenities that will come with this will be “the envy of the country”.
He added: “The transformation is already beginning, with free town centre WiFi, a new skate park and a heritage trail just a few of the initiatives due to be unveiled in a short period of time.
“At the moment, this town is missing a heart – a properly functioning town centre.
“In a few years’ time, the centre of the town will have been transformed with public amenities flowing from the River Bracken and the Millpond Park through Quay Street down to a completely reimagined harbour.”
A strategy will be published in March of next year – directly influenced by the results of the ‘Our Balbriggan’ survey.
To make a submission, visit Balbriggan.ie or use the #ourbalbriggan tag on social media platforms.