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Carlow Castle area could be developed for amenity and tourism use

The move's being welcomed by leading local political representatives

Developing the Carlow Castle area for amenity and tourism is being considered by the county council.

Consultancy firm, Place + U, has been appointed to investigate if there are achievable and sustainable concepts for the region around the building, which was built in the 1200s, in the context of the wider Project Carlow 2040 strategy.

Cathaoirleach of the local authority, Cllr Fintan Phelan, says “We’re delighted to be working with Place + U and CHL Consulting to progress this important piece of work, which will form part of the wider regeneration of Carlow Town as part of Project Carlow 2040.”

He adds “Carlow County Council wish to maximise the tourism potential for Carlow Town and this feasibility study will outline and make recommendations for the future development of the Castle area. If you would like to make a comment on the development of this area of Carlow Town, please fill out our survey at Carlow Castle Area Survey (typeform.com)

Specifically, they have identified the following requirements:

  1. An initial review of costed options for the future development of the area
  2. Creation of a set of short, medium and long-term objectives for the area in preparation for funding opportunities as they arise
  3. A roadmap for the area that presents a practical vision which can be delivered with the resources available and obtainable
  4. A sustainable vision which considers the environmental, economic, heritage and social impacts and benefits for the wider area
  5. A review the of the potential of the area for tourism and a recommendation on its future development
  6. A consultation phase with stakeholders including OPW, Carlow County Council, Fáilte Ireland and other key stakeholder groups and the local community
  7. Recommendations on models and best practice in relation to the ongoing operation and management of any proposed actions including the role of community and private sector operators in the delivery of services

Kenneth Hennessey is lead architect with Place + U and he says “PLACE+U and CHL Consulting are delighted to be working with Carlow County Council to develop a visionary Masterplan for the Carlow Castle area.  PLACE + U is an experienced group of planning, design and engineering professionals and for this project we have partnered with tourism specialists CHL Consulting. Our key objective for this project is the identification of achievable and sustainable concepts for the Carlow Castle area that will improve its amenity and tourism potential – in the context of the wider Carlow 2040 strategy”.

He adds “As part of our design philosophy, we believe that the involvement of all stakeholders is a critical aspect in delivering a successful project which will meet Carlow County Council’s requirements.  We work at all times to integrate the principles of sustainable development and best use of resources for all our building, urban design, landscape and infrastructure projects and we look forward to developing a visionary Masterplan for the Carlow Castle area.”

Mayor of Carlow Municipal District, Cllr. Ken Murnane, says “I’m delighted to support this new feasibility study from the Local Enterprise Office and Place + U, which will help us to plan for the development of the Castle area.” The Mayor continued to say, “Carlow Castle is an important part of the fabric of Carlow Town and the redevelopment of this area will add to the tourism potential of Carlow Town and create an amenity for both tourists and locals to enjoy into the future.”

While Economic Development Officer with the Local Enterprise Office, Pierce Kavanagh says “this new feasibility study will be a starting point for the redevelopment of the Castle area which will add to the regeneration of Carlow Town as part of the wider Project Carlow 2040 strategy.”

He concludes by saying “Carlow Castle is an iconic and historic structure and Carlow County Council wish to maximise its potential as an amenity for tourists and locals alike.”

Mr Kavanagh joined our Brian Redmond on KCLR Live on Tuesday morning to further discuss the topic – listen back here: