An artist's impression of the planned plaza.

Public plaza planned for a Tipp town

The development of a new high quality public plaza in Clonmel is about to get underway on the Kickham Barracks site. Glas Civil Engineering Ltd have been appointed by Tipperary County Council to carry out construction works as Phase 1 of the redevelopment of Kickham Barracks, Clonmel for the sum of €4,283,218.06 exclusive of VAT. The lead design consultants are Ove Arup Consultants with support from Nick de Jong landscape architects.This stage of the development is expected to be complete in approximately 12 months.

The proposed works consists of a new high quality stepped public plaza area (Main Plaza) to the south west corner of the site (at the junction of Dillon Street and Davis Road); a new public plaza to the centre of the site (Central Plaza); a new street linking the existing site entrance on Dillon Street with the Central Plaza: and a new street linking the Central Plaza and the Main Plaza. Access to the site will be opened up from Dillon Street/Davis Road and new pedestrian crossings will also allow for linkage to both Parnell Street and to Cross Street.

During the construction stage it is expected that there will be 43 construction jobs created with an expected return to the exchequer of approximately €1.2m over this stage of the project.

The project is being funded under the First Call of the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) programme which is one of the key initiatives of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for providing capital funding to commence the revival of rural towns.

This is the first phase in the development of this 11 acre former military barracks site. Phase two includes for new Limerick Institute of Technology and Tipperary Education and Training Board Campuses and an Arts and Cultural Venue, in addition to a new Garda Station.

This development marks an exciting phase in the regeneration of existing buildings and civic spaces of distinction and value within Clonmel. It is one of the first key elements of the 2030 Plan for the Regenerational Transformation of Clonmel Town. The implementation of the various plans and projects under the Regenerational Transfrormation of Clonmel 2030 will assist in aligning the town centre with the 21st century needs of its citizens and visitors including stimulating greater town centre footfall & spend, enabling new businesses to set up and growing existing commercial activity; introducing new immersive tourism activity and uses and binding all of these initiative through the unique art, history, heritage and culture of Clonmel.

Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Cllr. Michael Smith said: “The development at Kickham Barracks marks the first stage in major development plans for the town of Clonmel. The military barracks had been in operation for a period of 232 years and this project allows for the continued new use of such an iconic site for future generations. The potential benefits of this project for the town cannot be overstated and will bring benefits to visitors and residents alike."

Mayor of Clonmel Borough District, Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose, said she was delighted to welcome this stage of the overall Kickham Barracks project and stated: “Clonmel has had a long association with the military and the Dept of Defence and it is tremendous that this development will celebrate the towns rich heritage and cultural history. In addition, the proposals for a new Garda Station have obtained planning permission and this will also be progressed. Members of Clonmel Borough District have worked hard to bring this initiative to fruition and I am delighted that we are now in a position to see the commencement of works on this site. It is hopefully the start of a process which will see the revitalisation of this area since the closure of Kickham Barracks in 2012”.

Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council, Joe MacGrath, added: "We look forward to working with Glas and Nick de Jong to bring this very exciting project to fruition. It marks the first stage of major plans to develop the heritage and history of the former Army barracks in Clonmel into a state of the art cultural and tourism destination which will be enjoyed by current and future generations.”

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