Docklands Development Authority Publishes Annual Report and Accounts for 2005
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority confirmed that Meadows & Byrne has agreed heads of terms to take up the anchor space at chq in the IFSC. Encompassing 1,300 square metres at the Mayor Street end of the centre, it will be Meadows & Byrne’s first city location in Dublin. Ely Restaurant and Wine Bar already opened for business at chq and the remaining units are now being marketed by Bannon Commercial.
This was announced at the publication of the Docklands Authority’s Annual Report and Accounts 2005 which were presented to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr Dick Roche, TD by Lar Bradshaw, Chairman of the Docklands Authority at chq on Friday, 28 July 2006.
During 2005 the Dublin Docklands Development Authority continued its task of implementing the 1997 Docklands Master Plan, turning aspirations into reality as the radical reshaping of the Docklands area continued apace.
“The physical changes in the area are already very substantial and I am confident that the momentum behind the architectural and economic activities will continue. We can now concentrate our resources on addressing the issues that are crucial to the long term sustainability of the Docklands community. These issues include active citizenship, housing, family living, civic and sports facilities, education, childcare and arts and cultural programmes” said Mr. Bradshaw in the Chairman’s Statement.
In the Chief Executive’s Review, Mr Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Dublin Docklands Development Authority said that the Docklands Authority and developers, working with some of the world’s leading architects, are delivering some of the most creative projects in the country. “As the second phase of the Docklands project progresses, the urban landscape and skyline are becoming an integral part of the identity of the area. In 2005, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority made further progress against all of its main benchmarks – Education, Employment & Social Development, Planning & Development and Leisure and Tourism – taking a step closer to achieving our ultimate goal of creating a dynamic economic and social hub within the heart of the city”
Mr Paul Maloney reported on the progress of the Docklands project as outlined in the Master Plan Monitoring Report published in December 2005. “During the year 1,852 residential units were completed, including 139 social units. The pace of development continued with a further 954 residential units throughout the Docklands permitted in 2005, including 143 social and affordable housing units. At the end of the year 5,831 units were certified or permitted, 20% of which were conditioned as social and affordable residences. Construction commenced on 3,188 of these” he said.
The accounts show that Grand Canal Harbour was the primary source of income in the year ended 31 December 2005 and generated the bulk of the Docklands Authority’s annual turnover of €37.1 million. €9.4 million was spent on ‘not-for-profit’ activities primarily public realm works on the riverside including the completion of the new Sean O’Casey Bridge, the provision of new mooring facilities and other amenity schemes in the Docklands area. €2.3 million was spent on specific community development projects.
The net result for the year before discretionary spend was an operating surplus after interest of €18.4 million reflecting in particular a significant increase in revenues from Grand Canal Harbour. When not-for-profit spend is accounted for, this gives a surplus of €8.9 million
The Docklands Authority’s net worth at the end of the year under review stood at €106.9 million with Grand Canal Harbour and chq being the two primary assets. This compares with €22.5 million at May 1997 when the Docklands Authority was formed. The significant increase in value has been generated from the successful strategy of acquiring, improving, and releasing for development strategic sites in the Docklands area.
Cash balances for the year end stood at €24 million which will be fully utilised during 2006 to fund an ambitious programme of targeted commercial interventions, continuing public realm enhancements and infrastructure work.
The main highlights of the Docklands project on the planning and development side in 2005 included:
- the publication of draft amendments to the North Lotts Planning Scheme and the Grand Canal Planning scheme including proposals to create landmark towers on either side of the river as a gateway to the Docklands. These Schemes have since been approved by the Minister
- substantial progress at Grand Canal Dock area as the Grand Canal Harbour development was completed and the first wave of commercial and residential tenants took up occupation
- the unveiling of a stunning design, by American landscape artist Martha Schwartz for the 10,000 square metre public space at Grand Canal Square
- significant progress at Spencer Dock in the North Lotts area, where the Government has conferred preferred bidder status as the site for Ireland’s €400 million National Conference Centre, due to be completed by 2011
- the cultural credentials of the Docklands were given a major boost with the announcement by the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism that George’s Dock is to be the new home of the Abbey Theatre
There was also considerable progress made in the area of transport and infrastructure with the completion of the tender process for the landmark ‘Samuel Beckett Bridge’ at Macken Street and the submission of an application to extend the Luas to the point.
In terms of public amenity facilities, the highlight was the opening of the Sean O’Casey Bridge in July by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D. Landscaping works were completed on the north campshires at Scotch Berth providing a continuous walkway between North Wall Quay and the Point. Planning for the design of two new parks in the Grand Canal Dock area – Chimney Park and Chocolate Factory Park – also got under way in 2005.
River regeneration continued to be a strong theme on the leisure and tourism side of the Docklands Authority’s work during the year:
- the second Docklands Maritime Festival brought more than 40,000 visitors to the area to witness an impressive fleet of nine tall ships, market stalls and entertainment.
- the Docklands Authority acquired the famine replica ship, the Jeanie Johnston.
- the Liffey Voyage tour service was launched in September and got off to an impressive start carrying 6,000 passengers in its first three months
- Dublin City Moorings was upgraded and visited by over 200 yachts from Ireland and abroad
Throughout 2005, the Docklands was further recognised as a popular venue for events providing a location for the Dublin Fringe Festival Spiegeltent, the Docklands Shakespeare Festival, St Patrick’s Festival’s Skyfest and the Luminarium inflatable maze, and the Docklands Fun Run. The first significant Docklands Christmas event brought the year to a close with the very successful ’12 Days of Christmas ‘Market traditional outdoor market featuring over 40 stalls at George’s Dock.
Highlights of the Dockland’s Authority’s Education and Social Regeneration programme in 2005 included:
- the awarding of scholarships to 27 young Docklanders under the Dockland’s Authority’s Third Level Scholarship programme, bringing to 160 the total number of scholarships awarded since the scheme’s inception.
- the participation of 40 more parents in the Parents in Education course
- The funding of 12 initiatives under the Community Development Project Initiative at a total cost of €2.3 million. Grant aided projects included equipment for a youth club, refurbishment of playgrounds and sports clubs and equipment for a local community radio station.
- the publication of a book of 1,200 photographs taken as part of the Docklands Schools Photographic Initiative. This project won the Docklands Authority its second prestigious Allianz Business2Arts Award
- the expansion of the Emotional Intelligence programme to include over 50 more teachers and principals from additional Docklands schools. This programme aims to apply emotional intelligence techniques to the way principals and teachers manage their schools
Looking to the future Mr Bradshaw said while the Docklands Authority has always prioritised community development, it was now time to raise this commitment to a greater level by enabling the community and voluntary sector through Active Citizenship programmes to assume responsibility for shaping the sustainable future of the community, long beyond the tenure of the Docklands Authority. “This ultimately will be the most important barometer of success” he said.
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