Butter market building plan in the works for Shandon

Butter market building plan in the works for Shandon
The old Butter Exchange building, Shandon, Cork.Picture: Denis Scannell

CORK City Council is currently investigating ways to bring the Shandon Butter Market building back into use.

However, council officials have said complexities around the structure will determine how quickly the project moves forward.

The iconic building, which dates back to the 1730s, was once a hugely important commercial centre, until a market decline in the 1920s.

Numerous attempts have been made to utilise the building, which is in the Shandon Plaza, next to the Firkin Crane Theatre and the Church of St Anne.

A €38,000, European-style plaza has been developed by Cork City Council, but the Shandon Butter Exchange building has been empty since a craft centre closed in 2008.

It is estimated that it could cost millions to redevelop.

Last summer, Shandon experienced a boon from the annual Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School and tourism is growing in the area.

The latest attempt to reopen the building comes from Workers’ Party councillor Ted Tynan who believes the building could be reopened within a year.

He said. “In view of the deteriorating condition of the historic and architecturally important former Butter Market building at Shandon, Cork City Council [should] as a matter of urgency accelerate the process of repairing the roof and other parts of the structure with a view to using it for community and heritage purposes within the next 12 months.” 

A view of Shandon Steeple c.1880 located in the heart of the Butter Exchange area. The world-renowned Cork Butter Market existed from 1770 until 1924.
A view of Shandon Steeple c.1880 located in the heart of the Butter Exchange area. The world-renowned Cork Butter Market existed from 1770 until 1924.

However, City Hall director of economic and strategic planning Fearghal Reidy said complications regarding the building mean restoration works will have to be considered first.

“The council’s property department is in the process of reviewing the works required to bring the former Butter Market building at Shandon back into an occupy-able condition, a situation which is complicated by the presence of asbestos in the roof,” he said.

“Once an asset management plan has been formulated the options for use and occupation will be considered with a view to bringing the property back into use as a facility which will bring the best uplift to the area as a whole,” he added.

Local butcher and member of the Shandon Area Renewal Association James Nolan recently told The Echo that the area would benefit economically if the building was brought back into use.

View of the interior of the Cork Butter Exchange, late nineteenth century. The doors at the rear open to Church Street. Image courtesy of Susan and Frank Ring.
View of the interior of the Cork Butter Exchange, late nineteenth century. The doors at the rear open to Church Street. Image courtesy of Susan and Frank Ring.

More in this section

Sponsored Content