An exciting event will take place in Dillons Hotels Hotel on Thursday, February 24th when the Mayor of Letterkenny, Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh, will launch ‘Letterkenny 2040’. This unique consultation document, the first of its kind, will outline an ambitious vision for the future of Donegal’s largest town.
Researched and prepared by the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter committee last year, its ‘mission statement’ is to get feedback from the public how Letterkenny’s town centre can be regenerated into a vibrant, competitive and attractive place to live, work, invest and visit. It’s also intended as a document which shapes future planning for the entire area.
Stating that she was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the exciting ideas contained in ‘Letterkenny 2040’ Laurie McGee, chairperson of the committee, pointed out that while community led urban regeneration works, it takes time. But she was, she said, confident that with the right mix of ‘enthusiasm, persistence and, above all, working in partnership’ Letterkenny had massive potential which could be harnessed for future generations.
Laurie commented: “We hold to a vision of what Letterkenny can be, and we see great possibilities. In this document we present our vision for the town in 2040 and offer ideas for projects that have the potential to transform not only the built environment but the very heart and soul of the town. Pride in our heritage and our community comes from an appreciation of our past, and we want to give future generations something that they’ll not only be proud of but will also be of great social and economic importance.”
Donnan Harvey, who has been to the forefront in promoting the Cathedral Quarter project, explained it was vital that a ‘Civic Trust’ be established in the town to be the catalyst to support the 2040 masterplan his committee is putting forward. It was vital too, he said, that this project actually was implemented, not just another document left to gather dust on a shelf.
He stated: “ This document is a blueprint for the development of the town. It offers exciting, innovative ideas of what can be achieved. And we are aiming to make this project a reality. We understand that it is possible to obtain funding from government to staff a Civic Trust team. That has to be the next step for us. Put it like this, it’s time for the talking to end and the action to begin. “
Donnan commented: “The whole idea is to regenerate the historic town centre of Letterkenny. Our vision would see some of the unoccupied buildings in the Cathedral Quarter area re-purposed. We would want to bring back some of the old crafts that once flourished here. The Craft Village in Derry could be a model for us in that regard. And we would also like to see modern hi-tech development with derelict buildings transformed into a digital hub and interpretive centre. It’s an ambitious plan but we believe it very deliverable if we are given a fair wind.”
The impressive full colour document Mayor Kavanagh will launch has been put together with the support of Stephen Barrett, formerly of DLDC and now with the International fund for Ireland. It was designed by graphic designer Sean Purser of Wild Atlantic Productions & Digital Content Marketing. Thanks also to Sean Gibbons & Sarah Lough on proofreading the document.
Speakers on the Night will include Laurie McGee, Eunan Quinn, Head of the Planning Unit in Donegal County Council, Sinead McCauley from the Donegal Regeneration Section of the Council, Lee Gooch, Property owner on Church Lane, Toni Forrester, CEO with Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and Stephen Barrett, Former of DLDC Ltd and now of International Fund for Ireland.
Secretary Harvey concluded: “The document highlights the good work that our organisation has done over the past eight years and outlines how we would like to see the area develop for Letterkenny 2040. We would like all the different stakeholders to join us on another special night celebrating Letterkenny’s future. Everyone welcome.
The Launch of Letterkenny 2040 Document will take place in Dillons Hotel on Thursday, 24th February at 8pm.