In 2018 work commenced to develop a plan for Ireland youngest, most diverse town in Ireland. A series of workshops and world café events took place to engage the people of Balbriggan. Over 4,000 people took part in the survey which shaped the plan and in May 2019 the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan was launched.
A year on from the launch of the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan, the transformation of Ireland’s youngest town is taking shape, with substantial progress across a range of objectives.
The initial programme of 20 things in 12 months has been largely achieved, even with the restrictions Covid 19 brought, and Fingal County Council has restated its commitment to the delivery of the objectives of the €30 million plan. Significant investment has been made to date, with two new playgrounds, a skate park and an extensive refurbishment of Balbriggan Library, and the repurposing of a vacant shopfront as an Our Balbriggan Hub, signalling the initial physical improvements. The hub is a multi purpose space set in the heart of the town and is home to the Our Balbriggan project team.
The Council has also purchased a building at 2-4 Dublin Street to develop into a creative arts and digital space, strengthening the public and civic quarter of the town and is close to completing the acquisition of two key buildings on Main Street and the harbour which are integral to this plan. Within the next year it is anticipated the existing nightclub building will be demolished at Balbriggan Harbour and plans progressed to transform the harbour area into a vibrant recreational amenity.
Balbriggan has also just become the first town in Ireland to be named as a Smart District, positioning it at the cutting edge of smart projects to improve services, create jobs and build a better community. Underpinned by the Our Balbriggan free public wi-fi, Smart Balbriggan projects will include the creation of an innovation hub and creative maker space. Balbriggan is also part of the EU’s iPlace initiative which brings together nine small cities and towns with similar issues to focus on identifying and strengthening local economic development opportunities through plans such as Our Balbriggan.