Cork's Custom House floated as venue for new visitor centre; Site already earmarked for 34-storey hotel

Cork's Custom House floated as venue for new visitor centre; Site already earmarked for 34-storey hotel
A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus

A LARGE-scale maritime visitor centre could be coming to Cork’s quays.

One of the proposed locations for the development is the bonded warehouses of Cork’s old Custom House.

The site is already the location for a proposed skyscraper hotel, which is to include a visitor attraction.

Discussions have taken place with elected members and the leadership team of Cork City Council, facilitated by Fáilte Ireland and tourism experts.

All parties involved advocated for the development of an iconic, family-friendly visitor attraction that reflects the maritime heritage of the city.

In recent months, the site of the former bonded warehouses has been identified as one possible location for the attraction.

An application has been submitted to Fáilte Ireland under its ‘Platforms for Growth’ capital investment programme, which seeks to support major new visitor attractions.

The Cork City maritime heritage attraction has now been approved to progress to a stage where applicants must demonstrate the commercial viability.

A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus

It is understood that only a small number of applications will be brought forward to the next stage.

Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy says he has long been an advocate of a large-scale visitor attraction in the city’s dock’s area.

“It is great the there is a proposal for the bonded warehouses, which are almost two hundred years old and for me are important to mind. It seems there is more willingness in the last few months to develop a maritime-themed visitor centre.”

Tower Holdings Group own the Custom House Quay site and are planning to build a 34-storey skyscraper hotel there. Their plans also include the maritime visitor attraction.

“Tower Holdings Group has included a Maritime Culture and Heritage offering as part of its planning application for the proposed Custom House Quay development,” a spokesperson said.

“It is important that the development is open and inviting to the local community and visitors to the city, so the inclusion of culture and heritage is a vital aspect to its success.

“To this end, a maritime-themed visitor attraction fits in well with the overall development which also includes a hotel, food and beverage outlets, a distillery, some office space and a vast area of waterfront public realm.

“The concept for the attraction will be based upon the maritime history of the site and the city’s vast maritime past, present and future under the working title ‘Ireland’s City of the Sea’,” the spokesperson added.

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