Green Party candidate has plans down the track for €40m mayoral discretionary fund

Deputy Leddin launched his mayoral manifesto last week. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

GREEN Party mayoral candidate Brian Leddin has big plans for the €40million discretionary fund that comes with Limerick’s new top job.

And rather than take a scattergun approach to dispersing the pot, Deputy Leddin proposes to leverage it to conduct four transformative town and street renewal projects – one in Limerick City and three in the county.

Launching his mayoral manifesto in St Michael’s Rowing Club on Friday last (May 12), the Green Party TD said that, if elected, he would propose a transformative, multi-million euro ‘Castle to Cathedral’ investment.

“For decades, the streets connecting King John’s Castle to St John’s Cathedral have been neglected, with widespread dereliction, vacancy, and episodes of anti-social behaviour evident throughout,” Deputy Leddin told supporters.

By investing in the streetscape and employing preferential commercial rates, and applying for matching funding from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, he revealed, that he intends to transform Nicholas Street, Mary Street, Broad Street, and John Street from “decaying vestiges of our history into a thriving, vibrant cultural centre piece for our city”, featuring shops, restaurants, residential developments, as well as artist studios and community facilities.

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The Green TD went on to speak of similarly transformative projects to delivered in the mayor’s five-year term in each of Limerick’s rural electoral areas, one each for Adare-Rathkeale, Cappamore-Kilmallock, and Newcastle West.

Deputy Leddin sees the new mayoral role as an opportunity to accelerate delivery of some large scale infrastructural projects he initiated while in his role as a TD, such as a metropolitan railway system with many new stops and stations around the city and county, and a railway to Shannon Airport.

As a TD, Deputy Leddin said, he has prioritised his vision of the Mid West region becoming a counterweight to the capital in the decades ahead, but he cautions that this cannot happen without delivery of this particular infrastructure.

“The tracks are being laid on the Limerick to Foynes railway just this month. For the first time in 60 years we are expanding the railway network in Limerick and I am proud to have delivered this project,” he said.

“I have already been successful in progressing important elements, such as the Limerick to Foynes railway line, which is at an advanced construction stage, and new stations at Moyross and Ballysimon, for which planning is now underway. I have my sights set on a full metropolitan railway system,” he concluded.