The redevelopment of Stephen Street car park into a civic and cultural amenity called Queen Maeve Square will be a huge asset for Sligo for years to come, according to CE of Sligo County Council Martin Lydon.
Queen Maeve Square to transform centre of Sligo
Back Row: Councillor Tom Fox; Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services, Sligo County Council; Gail McGibbon, Sligo BID; Joanna Quinn, Failte Ireland; Councillor Declan Bree; Aidan Doyle, CEO Sligo Chamber of Commerce: Councillor Thomas Walsh
“Utterly transformative,” he says of the €3.8m development, which will see the current car park replaced with a fully pedestrianised area where the public can gather for concerts and other cultural events, or simply as a place for family and friends to meet on the banks of the Garavogue River.
“Until now, Sligo has lacked a significant public space in the heart of the city and the new Queen Maeve Square will create a focal point which will make optimal use of its unique riverside location. Already connected with the O’Connell Street shopping area via the footbridge at Rockwood Parade, this development will support the opening up of the emerging Greenfort cultural precinct located to the north-east, between The Mall and Connaughton Road.”
“The development of the Queen Maeve Square is multi-dimensional and will provide opportunities for community groups as well as local businesses to prosper,”
says Councillor Michael Clarke, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.
“Sligo is full of people who work in the creative arts, and I think we need to fill this space with these talented people, to provide locals and visitors alike with a year round flavour of what Sligo has to offer.”
Queen Maeve Square will transform the 4,000 sqm Stephen Street car park into a multi-use, fully pedestrianised area, one which will be capable of accommodating a variety of open air activities throughout the year. Having already hosted major public events like Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Sligo Summer Fest and the more recent Cannonball motor show, this investment will ensure that Sligo can put itself in the shop window to host other major events into the future.
Joanna Quinn, at Fáilte Ireland said,
“Fáilte Ireland is pleased to partner with Sligo County Council on the development of a new civic and cultural space in Sligo Town. Developing Queen Maeve Square will create a vibrant new event and public space for the town, strengthening the area’s appeal and attracting visitors and locals alike to events and hospitality businesses in Sligo city centre.”
The development of Queen Maeve Square will include the installation of continuous high quality paving, new seating, state of the art lighting as well as improved landscaping and signage throughout the city centre site. A landmark feature of the development will be the installation of ‘The Shell’, a 90 sqm bespoke covered area which will provide shelter for performances, ensuring that this space will be of use to the creative sector throughout the year.
Once completed, a rolling series of events will be planned, encompassing the cultural and creative sectors. Sligo County Council also wants to provide the wider community with opportunities to organize and develop new events, effectively planning the pathway for the future growth of the area.
Back Row: Councillor Thomas Walsh; Finbarr Fox, Fox Building & Engineering Ltd; Councillor Tom Fox
“Increased footfall will provide existing businesses with better access to customers, and because the centre of Sligo is easily accessible for pedestrians, new opportunities will arise for the business sector generally,”
says Gail McGibbon of Sligo BID.
“The pandemic has underlined just how important our outdoor spaces are, and we are fortunate here in Sligo to have a large area right in the heart of the city which will be entirely refreshed and revitalised. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to develop Queen Maeve Square as a multifunctional facility that the entire community can enjoy.”
Aidan Doyle, CE of Sligo Chamber added:
“It’s wonderful to see agencies working together to develop this key amenity. The collaborative approach by Sligo County Council and Fáilte Ireland, together with the business community in developing a central public space in the heart of Sligo will attract pedestrians and shoppers and that can only be good for business in Sligo and the region. This development will have a positive impact, in terms of job creation and in strengthening the hospitality and tourism sectors across the entire county.”
Some key details about the Queen Maeve Square:
- Urban space for the entire community to enjoy.
- Potential to facilitate public events of scale.
- Central link between the shopping district of Sligo and the cultural quarter.
- Pedestrianised zone, except for business deliveries and residential access. Ample public car parking available at nearby Connaughton Road.
- Community focus, with aim to provide year-round cultural and creative events.
- Development of regular activities, farmers’ markets, arts and crafts fairs, outdoor theatre, programmed events.
- Covered installation for performances.
- Enhancement of existing frontages for bars and cafés.
- Increase local biodiversity in the area through planting of new trees and green areas, and the sustainable development of the Garavogue River.
- Continuous paved surface throughout with new lighting.
- Three phase electrical points available for events.
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