13 September 2021
By Elaine Muprhy
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher has welcomed €1.3 million in funding under Fáilte Ireland’s Weatherproofing & Dining Enhancement Scheme which will “bolster the city’s growing reputation as a destination for outdoor dining and hospitality and improve the vibrancy of the city centre experience for residents and tourists”.
- Princes Street: Install heaters and lighting to the 17 parasols already placed on the street.
- Beasley Street: Install larger awnings, festoon lighting along the centre of the street, giant umbrellas and parasols and resurface street parallel to the original cobblestone pathway
- Union Quay: Install 16 parasols similar to those on Princes Street. Each premises to have a unique colour parasol and windbreaker. Festoon lighting above the parasols. Improved pedestrian access, inclusive of wheelchair access and improved resurfaced road surface.
- Caroline Street: Awnings, parasols, festoon lighting, mature trees, bespoke windbreak/planter units with age-friendly seating..
- Pembroke St: Install awnings, parasols, and festoon lighting.
New bespoke weatherproofing infrastructure – including parasols, awnings, windbreaks, heaters, festoon lighting and purpose-built planters – are to be installed at Princes Street, Caroline Street, Pembroke St, Beasley Street and Union Quay by early November. This will enable winter and summer outdoor dining. This year, tens of thousands of visitors to the city availed of the weatherproof dining facilities at restaurants and bars on Princes Street.
Architects were engaged to design streetscapes, providing a unique identity to each street and an improved city centre experience. The architects worked closely with Cork City Council and the traders on each street to develop their designs. Princes Street, Beasley Street, Pembroke Street and Union Quay are designed by South Mall based Meitheal Architects while South Terrace based architectural firm, Carr, Cotter and Naessens designed the Caroline Street scheme. The infrastructure is designed to last for a minimum of five years. Some of the bespoke infrastructure is being locally fabricated by Cork-based businesses.
The Lord Mayor said: “These schemes will bolster the city’s growing reputation as a destination for outdoor dining and hospitality and improve the vibrancy of the city centre experience for residents and tourists. They further demonstrate how Cork City Council is helping transform how people enjoy the public realm and builds on the momentum generated by the ‘Reimagining Cork City’ programme namely the pedestrianisation of city centre streets, the installation of eight parklets across the wider city, the greening of the city centre, accelerated cycle lane delivery and parking promotions”.
“The Council would like to acknowledge the hard work and co-operation of the businesses on the five streets who worked with Cork City Council to prepare and lodge the successful application for Fáilte Ireland funding. Working with local communities, the re-imagining and re-positioning of Cork looks set to continue apace,” Cllr Kelleher added.
Publican, Benny McCabe, who owns a bar on Union Quay, Margaret Kenneally, owner of the Oliver Plunkett Bar and Conrad Howard, who owns Market Lane on Oliver Plunkett Street/Beasley Street, warmly welcomed the funding announcement by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin.
“I believe we are witnessing a melding of hospitality and retail offerings and Cork is perfectly placed to exit Covid and take advantage of these new possibilities; the future is bright for the City” Mr McCabe said.
Mr Howard said: “The Fáilte Ireland funding will enable us to provide all-weather covering for our diners and will be transformative for Beasley Street”.
“We have worked closely with Cork City Council and our neighbours to realise the potential of Beasley Street and we are very excited and thankful for the support from Failte Ireland. We think that this is another leap towards making the city centre a vibrant safe destination for residents and visitors,” he added.
Margaret Kenneally, owner of ‘The Oliver Plunkett’ Bar said: “The Oliver Plunkett Bar has come back very strongly as a business since we were allowed trade again, thanks, in part, to its ability to meet customers’ needs outdoors on Caroline Street. These weather proofing grants will allow us to continue to look after those customers who want to remain outdoors in the coming months,” she said.