The RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme is a focused initiative designed to prioritise and target government expenditure, over a
number of departments, on the most concentrated centres of disadvantage. RAPID is about prioritising in a coherent, targeted and accelerated way, new and improved services and infrastructural investment to the communities living in RAPID areas. The RAPID process co-ordinated by the Kilkenny Local Authorities in partnership with existing agencies and community groups continues to work towards identifying real needs through community participation. RAPID is funded under the National Development Plan 2007-2013.
Areas selected under the RAPID programme for Kilkenny include: Hebron Park, Loughboy, Bishop Birch Place, Ossory Park, De La Salle Place, Newpark Close, O’Loughlin Court, Millennium Court, St. Mary’s Avenue, New Park Lower, New Orchard, Pococke Valley, The Butts, St. Canice’s, McCauley Place, and St. Catherine’s.
Since the programme’s inception a total over eighty projects have been endorsed by the RAPID Area Implementation Team. These include the provision of a Youth worker in the Eastern Environs, the provision of funding for a development worker and extension of the Hebron Park community facility in the Eastern Environs, the implementation of a number of estate enhancement and traffic calming works, the provision of resources for three city playgrounds (Garringreen, Newpark Close and the Butts) and two multipurpose play areas one to be located in Garringreen and the second to be located in Newpark Close.
The RAPID Strategic Plan 2006-2013 is a follow up from the 2003-2006 RAPID Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was completed following extensive consultation with the identified RAPID areas in Kilkenny. The 2006-2013 Plan focuses on larger scale projects with emphasis on the eastern environs and on neighbourhood regeneration. The Kilkenny RAPID Strategic Plan is a working/flexible document building on existing structures striving to target the most disadvantaged people in the city.
To implement the RAPID Strategic Plan 2006-2013 in conjunction with the local communities.
- To provide two multi-purpose play areas in Garringreen and Newpark Close during the lifetime of this plan.
- To extend the Hebron Park community facility in the Eastern Environs
- Library Service
Kilkenny County Library Service is commencing the process of creating a five-year Development Plan. It will include a review of existing services and provisions and consultation with various stakeholders, together with recommendations for future programming. The overall process will take twelve to eighteen months.
Within this new Development Plan there will be an emphasis on providing equality of access for all the residents of County Kilkenny. This will consolidate the work that has been done to ensure equality for people with disabilities in access to, and participation in, the public library service. The plan will also give recognition to the fact that Kilkenny is now home to many people of different nationalities and cultures, be they refugees, asylum seekers or immigrants. It will therefore include measures such as the introduction of the World book collection in 2006 for our borrowers at the City Library.
Staff have committed to the adjustment of opening hours and services that best meets the needs of the public. The various branches are now being used as access points for public services.
The Internet has greatly improved access to information. However all sectors have not benefited in particular people in the older age cohorts. The library staff are now engaged in initiatives targeted at these sectors.
- To continue to improve the library service for all.
- To provide a new Library for the City to be located at County Hall, which will replace the existing Carnegie Library.
Healthcare and medical facilities are provided by public, private and voluntary agencies within County Kilkenny. The Health Service Executive — South Eastern Area (previously South Eastern Health Board) is the primary organisation responsible for the delivery of health care and personal social services to the people of Kilkenny.
St. Luke’s Hospital and Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene are the acute hospitals in Kilkenny. The residents of the county also have access to hospitals in the surrounding counties such as Waterford Regional Hospital.
With the scale of increase in population, it is to be expected that there will be a demand for more healthcare and medical facilities within the county to cater for the resident population.
The primary role of the Planning Authority with regard to health care is to ensure that there is an adequate policy framework in place inclusive of the reservation of lands should additional services be required and that the health care facilities would be permitted subject to good planning practice. Future provision should be planned and implemented in concert with residential development, especially where this is undertaken in the context of Local Area Plans. The Planning Authority will reserve sites within development centres for health care facilities in consultation with the HSE.
St. Canice’s Hospital and its grounds comprise a significant landbank within the city. At present it contains the offices of the Health Service Executive — South Eastern Area, Lacken Pitch and Putt club, and the original hospital and outbuildings.
- To facilitate the development by the Health Service Executive – South Eastern Area of a comprehensive range of health and social care services and in particular services for the elderly including the development of community, hospital, community nursing and day care services throughout the City and Environs.
- To co-ordinate with the Health Service Executive – South Eastern Area and other interested parties in the preparation of a Masterplan for the grounds of St Canice’s hospital in order to determine the optimal land uses for the area.
- Nursing Homes
In the light of an increasing ageing population, investment in developing a range of facilities for the elderly, including nursing units, has been facilitated under the National Development Plan.
- To ensure that adequate land and services are available for the provision of all types of facilities for the elderly including nursing homes/retirement centre both public and private and the improvement, expansion and establishment of health services generally such as extended nursing care, day care and respite care.