Only a fool would make predictions – especially about the future.
So the saying goes.
But there are a number of really positive signs that over the next four years the county town of Swords will see major and transformative investment, that it has so badly needed for so long.
Here is the list:
Swords Cultural Quarter
The project to deliver a state of the art library, theatre and art gallery in the centre of the town has this week passed the council. It has just finished public consultation and is the project with the clearest timeline and funding. The plan involves the development of a site on the corner of Seatown Rd and North St to deliver a three storey library, a 200-seater (400 standing) theatre, a maker space, coffee shop and art gallery.
Expected delivery early 2026
This project will see a major improvement of Swords Main St and a shift in priority around the village towards walking, cycling, and public transport. It will develop quiet ways, greenways and improved public spaces. The aim of the project is to pull together a number of funding proposals to attract Urban Regeneration and Development Funding (URDF), active travel, and other funding streams from central government. It will have a holistic approach to the future development of the town looking at the natural environment, energy, heritage, the local economy and culture.
Expected delivery 2023 – 2026
Ward River Valley Masterplan
This is the newest project to get under way and has just recently appointed a design team. Their job will be to tackle the tarnished gem of the Ward River Valley park. This sprawling linear park which reaches from the Old Schoolhouse to Knocksedan Bridge is a massive untapped resource for the town. In size it is equivalent to Malahide Demesne but without any meaningful investment it remains broadly as it was some 30 years ago. This project will aim to address that by deliving amenities in some areas, improving the walking and cycling connection through it, while protecting and conserving the wild areas. The first phase of consultation is only beginning so there is still a lot of time to influence this pivotal project. The timeline presented by the team hopes to have a planning decision in the second half of 2023.
Expected delivery possibly 2026 (still very uncertain)
This major redesign of bus services will connect Swords quicker and more conveniently with the airport and the city centre. The plan will develop new cycle lanes along the route to separate buses from bikes to allow for a quicker flow and give buses more priorty at pinch points through bus gates. It will see a switch to cashless ticketing and new low emission buses. The A-spine route which goes from Swords to Dundrum will run every every 12 minutes from 7am to 6pm and roughly every 15 outside that (not including night service). While the frequency will not be a dramatic increase the improved journey times and the inclusion of orbital routes is expected to dramatically improve the service.
Expected delivery 2026