The town of Mallow in North Cork which was designated a “Hub” town in the National Spatial Strategy as far back as 2002 is to finally benefit financially from its designation as a “Hub” town with the announcement of the Designated Urban Centre Grant Scheme.
The scheme, which will be co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and local authorities was launched by Minister for State with responsibility for Planning Mr. Paudie Coffey, TD this week in the presence of the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea and Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Mr. Tim Lucey. €26m has been made available specifically to support the Designated Urban Centre Grant Scheme within the 13 counties in the Southern & Eastern Regional area (Cork, Kerry, Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin & Meath). This funding when co-financed by local authorities will result in an overall investment of €52m in designated urban centres in these 13 counties over the next three years, including the North Cork town of Mallow.
Welcoming the launch of the Designated Urban Centre Grant Scheme, Mayor of County Cork Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea said “This is an ideal opportunity for the town of Mallow to finally benefit financially from its designation as a Hub town. The town has not benefited one bit since it was designated as a Hub town back in 2002. In fact, it has been prevented from accessing other funding avenues such as Leader funding due to its Hub status loosing out on many development opportunities”.
It is estimated that the town of Mallow could benefit by at least €2m from this new grant scheme. Mallow will be one of 4 Gateway cities and 6 Hub Towns in the South & Eastern Region seeking a portion of this overall funding pot of €52m. The North Cork town, having not received any funding previously as a Hub town is well placed to achieve a significant funding allocation over the coming months.
Mayor O’ Shea added “I will be working closely with the executive of Cork County Council and with the business and community sector in Mallow over the coming months in identifying a key project or projects in order to submit an application for this grant scheme. Projects already coming to mind include the re-development of Mallow Town Hall as an unique interpretative centre and theatre. Another key project would be to transform the recently purchased Town Park in Mallow to a more open, friendly and recreational amenity. The further development of the grounds of Mallow Castle and the development of the Mallow Boardwalk also comes to mind in terms of key projects to advance here”.
Applications for the Scheme must be received by October of this year with allocations being announced towards year end. Mayor O’ Shea concluded “This is a very exciting time for Mallow and I look forward to working with the community of Mallow in progressing these projects over the coming months”.