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Kilkenny City’s newest performance arena a step closer

It boasts a stage with seating and more

Plans for Kilkenny City’s newest outdoor amenity look set to proceed.

Councillors were given a presentation on the proposals for the Watergate Urban Park which will link the former brewery site with the existing Watergate building and Parliament Street.

The vision’s for a multi-functional urban park which will include a staged performance area with seating and shelter, a thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists, landscaping & feature lighting as well as some parking.

The stage would have a capacity of 100 with an option to extend it to cater for 50 more with up to 200 people catered for in other, less formal performance arrangements.

Just one submission had been made to the council when it went out to public consultation – it came from the National Council for the Blind whose suggestion’s since been incorporated into the scheme.

While there was full agreement by councillors to bring the plans to fruition, some raised security concerns.

Among them was Cllr Eugene McGuinness who’d been worried about what the space might attract when not in official use.

But, following Monday’s County Council meeting he’s been telling KCLR News his fears were allayed; “Absolutely I brought this up when we originally discussed the design for this area in so far as there’s people living in the area and I was afraid that maybe a would-be rock ‘n’ roller at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning might decide that he’s going to perform and all of the associated noise but our engineer had said that it’s going to be closed off, there’ll be a door that’ll close it off so that won’t be happening and that’s what I was concerned about”.

Cllr McGuinness says too the facility will be a great addition to the local offering; “I think it’s a fantastic space, I mean if people are aware of the space itself it’s directly coming off where people see Cleere’s pub and the entrance and there which would bring you into the brewery site, it was used as a seating area throughout Covid but now we have a performance area in there, stage and seating etc and I think it’s fantastic, any space that we have in Kilkenny that we can use in that way I think it’s a brilliant idea and I’m delighted to see that it’s going ahead”.

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