€21m redevelopment of Nano Nagle Place nears completion

€21m redevelopment of Nano Nagle Place nears completion
The chapel area in Nano Nagle Place off Douglas Street which has been transformed into a heritage centre, gardens and community education hub. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THE multi-million euro redevelopment of Nano Nagle Place is nearing completion, with the Douglas Street complex set to open to the public by June.

Some €21 million has been invested in the rebuild of the Presentation Sisters' Convent, with the walled city centre site set to host a heritage centre, exhibitions, an archive, educational and charity facilities, and a garden.

These are in addition to the Presentation Sisters' graveyard, which includes the tomb of Nano Nagle.

The main entrance area off Douglas Street to Nano Nagle Place. Picture: Denis Minihane.
The main entrance area off Douglas Street to Nano Nagle Place. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Work has been underway on a phased basis at the protected site for more than two years.

Operators estimate that as many as 20,000 people will visit the centre each year after it is fully operational, claiming that it can play a pivotal role in Cork city's tourism offering and the regeneration of Douglas Street and the surrounding area.

Shane Clarke, chief executive of Nano Nagle Place, said they hope to collaborate with other city centre tourist sites to tell the city's story.

"We have held discussions with Fáilte Ireland about maximising our offering," he said.

"This could mean linking with Elizabeth Fort, Shandon and others to tell the story of Cork's history and bringing tourists from one site to the next as part of a trail."

Dr. Danielle O'Donovan, programme manager, and Shane Clarke, CEO, Nano Nagle Place, looking at an exhibition video of 18th century Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Dr. Danielle O'Donovan, programme manager, and Shane Clarke, CEO, Nano Nagle Place, looking at an exhibition video of 18th century Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Mr Clarke said the 3.5-acre complex, which is also set to include a restaurant and shop, will draw people to the south parish, boosting Douglas Street and the nearby areas.

"We want the people of Cork to know that this is their centre. They can come in and visit the heritage centre, or relax with a book in the garden," he said.

"We want to work with the city council and with the Douglas Street Traders' Association to improve the public realm here."

Mr Clarke confirmed that a number of charities will be housed permanently in some on-site buildings, while discussions are also underway with arts groups and festivals about getting the best use of the facility over the coming years.

The finished complex layout on screen in Nano Nagle Place off Douglas Street.
The finished complex layout on screen in Nano Nagle Place off Douglas Street.

The redevelopment of the convent buildings, which are set to house the heritage centre and archive, is complete, with work still ongoing at a new educational campus at the western apex of the site.

This multi-storey unit is expected to be home to close to 200 staff and students, with its tenant set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

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