The four-year scheme aims to create a distinctive residential, commercial and cultural quarter linking the city’s past to its future whilst providing that vital ingredient in making Cork a top European destination city, according to Heineken Ireland.
Plans for the three-year €150 million project have been shaped by a desire to integrate the new structures with the protected brewery Counting House building, states the brewery. The B&C site was vacated last year when Heineken shut down the Beamish & Crawford brewery having acquired it the previous year in a €7.9 billion purchase of former B&C owners Scottish & Newcastle.
“The plan will contribute to the local environment by opening up a new North/South route in sympathy with the original streets and lanes from Grand Parade across to the unique landmarks of St Finbarre’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Fort, Crawford and Proby’s Quay. This sensitive and creative approach will lead to significant regeneration benefits for the area and will serve as a catalyst for further development in the South City/Parish area.”
The Brewery Quarter (as the development has been titled) comprises a mixed scheme of retail, student accommodation, viewing tower, cinemas, restaurants and bars together with commercial live-work units. A key feature of the development will be a large Exhibition/Conference space within the old brewery building which will be used for displaying artifacts linked to the history and tradition of brewing in Cork and to the archaeological and historical nature of the site. The famous mock-Tudor/Germanic facade of the old B&C Counting House will therefore be retained.
At the heart of the regeneration project is a state-of-the-art custom-designed event centre with a capacity to accommodate up to 6,000 patrons. Heineken Ireland and development partner BAM Contractors have engaged extensively with Live Nation, the revolutionaries of the onstage event centre music industry and owners of the O2 in Dublin, to ensure that the centre will be a world-class performance venue.
“We in Heineken Ireland have always been conscious of the need to draft appropriate plans that optimise the uniqueness of the Beamish and Crawford site and in doing so, being mindful of the historical importance of the site, I think that not only have we delivered on that, but have exceeded it,” commented the Managing Director for Heineken Ireland David Forde.
“I have no doubt that the Quarter will be an extraordinary and unique addition to the city’s townscape with significant regeneration benefit whilst at the same time providing a vibrant and dynamic hub designed to reflect the unique aspects of the City of Cork and offering a range of activities and services for the discerning visitor.”
The Chief Executive of BAM Contractors Theo Cullinane remarked, “This scheme aims to meet and deliver on the aspirations of many in bringing to Cork a tourist quarter with a much-awaited event centre which will offer the city a large, flexible space which can house art exhibitions, live performances, fairs, corporate events and touring shows”.
Heineken Ireland and BAM Contactors will have a model of the proposed development on public display in the foyer of the Beamish & Crawford building from mid-January which will provide the general public with a vision for the new development. The plans themselves will also be available for inspection at City Hall in Cork and on the City Council website (planning portal).