New roads and high-speed broadband vital to Kilkenny’s economic recovery: IBEC
The delivery of world-class transport infrastructure is essential the economic success of Kilkenny and the South-East, the country’s main employer group has said.
Ibec has warned that decades of chronic underinvestment in key infrastructure in Kilkenny and the region is threatening to undermine prospects for economic recovery.
The group has called on the Government to ensure that the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland (NIFTI) supports the delivery of an enhanced National Development Plan (NDP). This includes the rollout of the National Broadband plan and several strategic road infrastructure projects.
Ibec Regional Policy Executive George Gill said: “NIFTI can play a central role in ensuring the delivery of an enhanced ‘NDP Plus’ programme of investment to support better lives and better business in the South-East region.
“It must ensure transport infrastructure investment supports greater ambition in the revised NDP. Targeted and ambitious capital investment in transport, broadband, housing, education including a new Technological University, revitalisation of Waterford metropolitan area and towns across the region, will be key to supporting the region’s economy to rebuild and ensuring it is better connected, more sustainable, and ultimately more competitive in the wake of the pandemic.
“Covid-19 has emphasised the real need to accelerate the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan to assist in the post-pandemic recovery and will prove crucial to the future of remote working in the region,” Mr Gill added.
Ibec’s key infrastructure priorities for the South-East region include:
- The roll-out of the National Broadband Plan and the successful roll-out of 5G.
- Upgrade strategic road infrastructure projects, including the N24 Waterford to Limerick and N25 Rosslare to Cork road.
- Increase investment in the Institute of Technology Carlow and the Waterford Institute of Technology to increase capacity and support the ambition of the Technological University.
- Increase investment in tourism infrastructure, to stimulate demand and build upon the sector’s potential.
- Revitalise town centres in Kilkenny and across the region to ensure their future viability and underpin recovery across the region.
- Delivery of an integrated sustainable transport across the region, capable of supporting significant levels of population and employment growth.
- Future development and expansion of the region’s ports.