Confirmation that Killarney is to receive over €16 million under the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund has been described as fantastic news for the town at a time when it was most needed.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Cllr Niall Kelleher, said it is a wonderful and timely boost that will give local businesses and the people of the town a much-needed lift after a very difficult and worrying year.

He said the regeneration plans for Killarney will ensure great long-term benefits for everybody and the investment will enhance the town centre to the extent that it will match the natural environment that surrounds it.

The €16.06 million Destination Killarney grant, which will be administered by Kerry County Council, will fund the regeneration of the entire Áras Pádraig site and the development of the Glebe area as a crafts quarter as well as enhancing the arts and cultural heritage experience.

It will also lead to public realm improvements at Beech Road, College Street, New Street and High Street and it will radically improve parking facilities in the town which will be welcomed by everybody.

“This is wonderful news for Killarney and, when completed, the works will ensure that the town is perfectly positioned going forward and it will create the infrastructural environment required to advance with purpose and confidence,” Cllr Kelleher said.

“Chamber is very excited about the plans and we look forward to playing our part to ensure Killarney remains the most wonderful town in the country to live in, to work in and to visit,” he said.

The Chamber President thanked the officials of Kerry County Council for their great work in preparing the applications for funding and he said Kerry is very fortunate to have such a progressive and innovative team of public officials to rely on.

He also thanked Education Minister, Deputy Norma Foley, and her Kerry constituency colleague, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin, for working tirelessly to bring the project to fruition and for ensuring Kerry got a fair share of the available funding.

Cllr Kelleher said the allocation under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund will help create magnificent opportunities for commercial development in Killarney while, at the same time, enhancing the many natural amenities and attractions that make the town the country’s top tourist destination.