The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) 2002 – 2020 was launched to deliver balanced social, economic and physical development between regions in Ireland. This twenty-year planning framework focuses on people, on places and on building communities. Its aim is to sustain:
The NSS envisaged that critical mass in the West and North-West would be strengthened by developing Sligo as a Gateway to capitalise on its strategic location and energise its associated hinterland. Key factors were taken into account in the designation, including Sligo’s strategic location, its capacity for substantial development, the existing business and innovation dynamic and the existing or potential transport linkages.
The National Development Plan (NDP) 2007-2013 recognises that the key to development of the Gateway centres and to regional development overall is to mainstream investment and implement targeted interventions that stimulate and reward joined-up thinking at regional level. The establishment of the Gateway Innovation Fund (GIF) is one such intervention. Sligo Local Authorities have worked in conjunction with a range of local, regional and national partners to prepare this submission under the Fund.
This funding is vital to the development of Sligo as a Gateway City. Each project that Sligo Local Authorities have nominated forms an integral part of this process. Sligo Local Authorities have developed a robust application which focuses on key projects identified in partnership with local and regional private and public sector organisations and that fit best with the guidelines of the GIF. The overall aim of the application is to provide key infrastructure, high quality cultural and recreational facilities while developing the urban core and promoting connectivity. The elements of the application meet the GIF criteria by leveraging the wider development of key strategic sites, unlocking the potential of significant landbanks in the city and were developed in partnership with the public and private sector.
The four projects that Sligo Local Authorities are submitting under the GIF are:
Funding of €69,616,000 is being sought from the GIF towards an overall investment of €187,620,000. The designation has given due recognition to Sligo as the Gateway to the North-West of Ireland. This status brings with it national recognition of Sligo as a major contributor to the achievement of balanced social, economic and physical development within the region. Sligo Local Authorities have embraced this opportunity and used it to develop an ambitious vision for our city.