19 March 2022
By Tom Collins
“Mitchelstown” used to be well known throughout Ireland for two things. One was ‘Mitchelstown Cheese’ and the other was the fact that the North County Cork town was on the Main Cork-Dublin road. Today, there is a Motorway and you won’t find the cheddar in your local supermarket anymore, but the town should be more well known because it boasts some fine examples of Georgian architecture. A ‘Mitchelstown Georgian Quarter’ is now being considered.
A team of architects is set to visit North Cork next week to begin work on developing Mitchelstown Georgian Quarter. The project centres around public realm improvements in the centre of Mitchelstown, building upon its rich urban heritage and highlighting its unique historic character.
Funding of €360,000 has been made available through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund from the Department of Rural and Community Development and Cork County Council.
Cork County Council has appointed REDscape Landscape & Urbanism to the project. The company has been tasked with the feasibility, statutory planning, and design of the public realm enhancements.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan welcomed the appointment, she said,
“Mitchelstown is a beautiful town with one of the finest Georgian squares and I am delighted to see that design work to develop its historic quarter is about to begin. This is the first phase of the Mitchelstown Georgian Quarter that will take the project through to the planning permission stage. It is a wonderful opportunity to transform the George’s Street, King’s Street, King’s Square and New Market Square areas creating a key tourism attraction. The public realm works will enhance and conserve the town’s important features including an historic water pump, paving, railings and pebble lined drains. It will allow for the expansion of the Thursday market and will provide spaces for even more festivals, live music and cultural events in the future.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added,
“This development has the potential to produce social, economic and environmental benefits for Mitchelstown and its surroundings. We want to create a strong sense of place helping to make the town an even more attractive place to work, live, visit and invest in. There will be a big focus on facilitating more sustainable forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport. I believe that the project will further strengthen Mitchelstown’s opportunities for tourism and will link the town with other North Cork tourist attractions, such as Doneraile Court and Anne’s Grove Gardens. I would also like to acknowledge the support of our project partners ‘St. George’s Arts and Heritage Centre’, the ongoing restoration works at St George’s along with a packed schedule of events will further enhance the overall Georgian Quarter.”
REDscape Landscape & Urbanism has experience working on heritage sites in Ireland and the Netherlands. It will be working in collaboration with local experts including Tobin Engineers, Fox Moloney Engineers, Minogue Environmental Consultants, Repucon Tourism Consultants, James Bourke Architects, Archer Archaeologists and Signify Lighting Specialists.
The project team will begin work on Monday, March 21st, with site visits for the consultant design team scheduled for March 25th.