city of Waterford has progressed and developed rapidly in
recent years into the cultural, economic, educational, technological
and industrial capital of the South East region. Now the fifth
largest urban centre in the country, Waterford is a city of
colour and excitement, a progressive city which has been identified
in the National Development Plan and the National Spatial
Strategy as a National Gateway.
With its galleries, museum, busy
streets full of fascinating shops and architectural landmarks,
Waterford is a delightful city through which to stroll, with
1,000 years of history meeting you on virtually every street
corner. Indeed the city is renowned as the oldest centre of
continuous urban settlement in Ireland and is consequently
the island's oldest city. It also has the distinction of being
older than all of the north European capitals except London
Many of the city's most famous
landmarks are located within walking distance of the city's
panoramic quays. The magnificent William Vincent Wallace Plaza
is situated on the riverfront; close by is John Roberts Square
while several spectacular buildings designed by the renowned
Waterford Georgian architect John Roberts are minutes away.
One of the key aspects of becoming
a Gateway City is accessibility and imminent projects in Waterford
include the construction of the city's Outer Ring Road, the
commencement of the City Bypass and a second bridge crossing
the River Suir, an enhanced rail and air service and the provision
of broadband infrastructure throughout the city. The city
is strategically located on the North-South Corridor Euroroute
30, with Dublin, Cork and Limerick / Shannon within a 2.5
hour drive. It's also on the national rail route with direct
daily services to and from Dublin, Rosslare and Limerick and
there is an excellent long-distance and local bus service.
Waterford Regional Airport continues to grow: over 55,000
passengers flew on the scheduled Aer Arann services linking
Waterford with London Luton, Manchester and Lorient in 2004.
The fruits of these improvements in Waterford
and its hinterlands are clear to locals and visitors alike.
The city is currently growing at about twice the national
average and twice the average for the remainder of the southeast
region. The population of the city stands at 46,736 and there
is a population of 335,000 within a 60km radius of the city
(Census 2002). This population growth naturally fuels change,
with significant demand for new houses likely in the city
over the next five years. Waterford's population profile is
also getting younger as emigration slows to a virtual standstill
and many former emigrants return home to enjoy the benefits
of the current economic boom.
This youthful population is further buoyed by
the attendance of some 6,400 full-time and 4,550 part-time
students at Waterford's Institute of Technology, the largest
of the Institutes of Technology outside Dublin. The Institute,
which provides education up to doctorate level, is situated
on the western outskirts of Waterford city and offers a range
of academic programmes covering Humanities, Health and Nursing,
Science and Informatics, Engineering, Business and Education.
The Institute is set for major expansion in the coming years,
with construction imminent on its corporate headquarters and
a student village at a recently purchased estate at Carriganore.
One of the Institute's key research strengths
is the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group which
is a world class Telecommunications Research Centre founded
in 1997. The centre has 50 employees with 15 Phds. The primary
research focus is on telecommunications software and the mobile
internet and the centre manages large-scale multi-national
projects in the ICT sector.
Waterford is already home to several major international companies
including Bausch & Lomb, AOL, Genzyme and Hasbro. With
a strong culture of local buying, the main growth sectors
are in electronics, engineering and healthcare. And the city's
most famous export - Waterford Crystal - continues to be manufactured
at its local plant, also one of the city's and country's top
tourist attractions. Other well-known and world-class Waterford
exports include Waterford Stanley Cast Iron Stoves, Cookers
and Heaters, a local industry which dates back to the beginning
of the Industrial Revolution in the early 18th Century.
Waterford Industrial Park, covers an area of
350 acres, and houses many important employers while the IDA's
regional headquarters is based at a 77-acre Business and Technology
Park on the Cork Road. Greenfield utility-intensive projects
are currently available at the IDA's development at the 500
acre Belview site , 4 miles from Waterford city and close
to the new Port of Waterford site
Historically, Waterford has dominated the southern Irish Sea
routes to the UK. The Port of Waterford is the nearest major
Irish port to mainland Europe. It is Ireland's fastest growing
port, offering all the facilities expected of a modern commercial
port and will this year play host to the Irish leg of the
International Tall Ships Race - an event expected to attract
up to 250,000 visitors to the city.
A major rejuvenation project is also planned for the city's
North Quays - 7 hectares of semi-derelict wharves, which stretch
along the northern bank of the river. The plans for the site
include a new hotel and marina, residential areas, shops,
office buildings, a pedestrian walkway, a commuter ferry,
a cruise liner docking station, car parking and public amenity
areas. The plans revolve around a venue building that would
offer a location for a very wide range of activities including
concerts, conferences and exhibitions.
Property price rises as well as improvements
in the provision of services, roads and transport infrastructure
have contributed to an increased supply of development land
throughout Waterford while the thriving retail market has
a direct effect upon the sharp demand for prime city centre
units. Buoyed by the spill-over effect of development land
prices, farm prices continue to increase by an average of
10% a year in the Waterford area.
Added to this is the momentum of increased investment
in urban renewal, new shopping centres and retail parks on
the city's outskirts, which are helping to generate further
employment and spread the benefits of economic growth.
Recent years have seen strong price growth in
the residential sector, though Waterford is still one of the
few major urban centres where house hunters can purchase a
new, 3-bedroom house for under €200,000. The benefits
of increased supply in the locality have been a key factor
in contributing to this stability in property prices.
While history, economics and industry are important
parts of what makes a city worth living in, Waterford has
so much more which contributes to the exceptional quality
of life in the city and its environs. Shopping in Waterford
is a lively and varied affair, with sophisticated high fashion
boutiques, interesting antique shops and craft studios abundant
to satisfy even the most fervent shopper.
A popular tourist destination, Waterford offers
a wide choice of eateries including gourmet, vegetarian and
ethnic restaurants and a host of popular public houses. Waterford's
cultural life is also thriving. Garter Lane Arts Centre stages
many exhibitions of art, design and photography while Garter
Lane is also the name for a modern theatre where Red Kettle
Theatre Company has produced many world premieres - several
of which have won critical acclaim and international honours.
The Theatre Royal, located beside City Hall, is also well
worth a visit. The city is surrounded by a wonderful variety
of natural and unspoiled countryside. Within 20 miles of the
city, you can find seaside resorts like Tramore and Dunmore
East as well as other quaint fishing ports such as Cheekpoint
and Passage East, and secluded beaches. Also nearby are the
Comeragh Mountains from where there are some spectacular views.
The quality of life in the city and its environs
is exceptional, whether one is into sailing, mountain walks,
or any number of other sports. A natural playground for golf
enthusiasts, Waterford offers the perfect sporting experience
with quality hotel and conference facilities at Waterford
Castle and Faithlegg House Hotel.
||051 - 874445
|Mt Sion CBS:
||051 - 874124
||051 - 873788
Heart of Mary:
Paul's Community College:
||051 - 355816
Lady of Mercy:
||051 - 374161
||051 - 376584