Mayor of Borough District of Sligo Municipal District, Councillor Tom MacSharry officially opened the Fáilte Ireland funded Tobergal Lane Outdoor Dining Area, today Friday 23rd September.
Tobergal Lane Outdoor Dining Area
In attendance were Fáilte Ireland Manager Eva Costello, the Chief Executive of Sligo County Council Martin Lydon and Director of Service Dorothy Clarke, Sligo BID CEO Gail Mc Gibbon, Mehron Kirk, Director BDP (designers), Thomas Crummy from TC Landscapers and relevant SCC staff who worked on the project as well as members of the business community and Fox Contracts.
Funding for the Scheme was provided by Fáilte Ireland under the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Investment Scheme 2021 and its purpose was to create an all-year-round outdoor dining area.
The completed scheme consists of canopies, screens and 105 fully planted and brightly coloured pots of varying sizes which line the laneway and enfold each of the participating businesses.
It rains a lot in this country! This, coupled with the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic has made us think about outdoor dining in a new way. Fáilte Ireland introduced this fund in order to facilitate greater capacity in outdoor dining by supporting Local Authorities and hospitality businesses to upgrade and enhance streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round outdoor dining.
Eva Costello, Manager, Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said:
“It is fantastic to see the Tobergal Lane outdoor dining infrastructure, which was funded by Fáilte Ireland and developed in partnership with Sligo County Council, being so well received by visitors. Outdoor dining is now a permanent feature in many of our towns and cities and facilities like these support tourism businesses to provide access to outdoor dining options for longer periods of the year."
Sligo County Council recognised Tobergal Lane as being an ideal location for a weatherproofed outdoor dining area. The idea was to create something beautiful to capture the imagination of the wider community, while performing a specific function in a flexible and adaptable manner. It had to animate the space while catering for differing needs of stakeholders. Outdoor dining is only one aspect of how the space is used.
With the help of design consultants BDP and after many discussions with stakeholders, involving many iterations of the design, the delivery of the project took shape.
Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services with Sligo County Council commented on the positive engagement amongst the stakeholders:
‘This project is the product of strong collaboration between the various stakeholders who use Tobergal Lane. On behalf of Sligo County Council, I would like to thank all involved for their continuing support to make this new space a reality. Special thanks to BDP for designing the scheme, Fox Contracts (ground works), Surf and Turf canopy suppliers and Thomas Crummy Landscapers (pots)’.
The Mayor of Borough District of Sligo Municipal District had the following to say about the scheme:
‘Completed in only a few weeks, Tobergal Lane ‘sparks joy’ for all who pass through it. That is a wonderful accolade to any placemaking project. Well done to all involved and I hope the people of Sligo and visitors will enjoy dining outdoors amongst the wonderful planting for years to come’.