Public to have their say on plans to develop Cork Fort as arts and cultural venue

Council architects have designed an outline scheme, which has been informed by engagement with arts professionals as well as conservation and archaeology staff.
Public to have their say on plans to develop Cork Fort as arts and cultural venue

CGI image of the proposed new outdoor arts and performance space that is planned to be developed within the grounds of Cork’s historic Elizabeth Fort. A timber framed stage structure, with removable waterproof covering, is part of what is envisaged. Image: Cork City Council

THE public will soon be given the chance to have their say on plans for a €280,000 transformation of Cork’s historic Elizabeth Fort to develop it as an outdoor arts and cultural venue.

Following a successful application to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under its outdoor public space scheme, €250,000 has been awarded to Cork City Council to adapt and improve the outdoor space at Elizabeth Fort on Barrack St without compromising the fort’s current use as a visitor attraction.

The scheme was established to provide funding for local authorities to adapt, equip, or otherwise improve outdoor public spaces for arts and cultural events, as well as festivals, taking account of public health guidelines.

The application was made following approval from city councillors.

In a report to councillors, Fearghal Reidy, the city council’s director of strategic and economic development, said that funding from the council “of at least €27,777” is also required for the project.

CGI image of an outdoor cinema at Elizabeth Fort. Image: Cork City Council
CGI image of an outdoor cinema at Elizabeth Fort. Image: Cork City Council

He said that a cross-directorate working group has been set up in Cork City Council to oversee and manage the delivery of the project, which must be completed by September this year.

Council architects have designed an outline scheme, which has been informed by engagement with arts professionals as well as conservation and archaeology staff.

The key elements of the proposed scheme include a timber-framed stage structure, with a removable waterproof covering; electrical upgrade works which will allow for new power outlets around the fort; the retrofitting of seating to the existing stone upstands around the perimeter planting area, and an improved planting scheme for the perimeter green areas.

Lighting solutions are being considered, and improvements to one of the vacant buildings in the fort are under way to provide green-room facilities for artists.

In his report, Mr Reidy said the next stage in the project is to develop the documentation and drawings necessary to commence a Part 8 process for the scheme.

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