Galway at core of new spatial strategy for North and West

David Minton...report.
David Minton...report.

The North and West has formally endorsed the first Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy which will help plot Galway’s development up to 2040 – a period over which the city and county is set to grow in population by over 50 per cent.

The elected members of the Northern & Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) last week formally adopted a draft of the strategy, which sets out an ambitious vision up to 2040, by taking advantage of the high quality of life, knowledge and adaptability in areas such as energy, digitilisation, environment, innovation and entrepreneurship.

With a projected growth of over 180,000 people bringing the entire population of the Northern & Western Region to over one million people, a clear objective of the plan is strengthening often weak infrastructure in the region’s urban areas so that investment, jobs and population growth can flourish.

The strategy seeks to identify regionally specific investments that can act as drivers for this population growth and provide a jobs dividend.

The region needs to supply the right housing, infrastructure, jobs and services where they are needed.

Galway city is seen as the primary urban driver – with other large towns such as Sligo, Athlone and Letterkenny designated as regional growth centres.

Galway, regarded as the ‘Medtech capital of Ireland’, is set to grow in population by over 50% over the next 20 years, with increased pressures on infrastructure, housing and other key services needed for larger numbers of people. This will need to be planned for.

If adopted after a ten-week public consultation, the plan would provide a detailed roadmap within the National Planning Framework, specific to the region’s needs and strengths.

For more,  read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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