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December 15, 2010

Plans submitted for the development of Beamish & Crawford Brewery, Cork

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A major planning application for the development of a new Brewery Quarter, on the site of the old Beamish & Crawford Brewery, was submitted to the City Council today, by a Joint Venture comprising Heineken Ireland and BAM Contactors. The scheme aims to capitalize on a unique opportunity, to create a distinctive residential, commercial and cultural quarter linking the City’s past to its future whilst providing that vital ingredient in making Cork a top European destination city.

The scheme aims to develop the brewery quarter as Ireland’s premier arts, cultural and heritage area, and for it to become a home for artists and craft workers, for companies in the creative industries and for restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries and retail outlets with unique offerings. The development will strive to respect the significant archeological and industrial heritage represented on the site. It will create a street edge to historic South Main St., thereby recreating a strong southern gateway to the city centre, when crossing the bridge that bears its name.

Plans for the three year, €150m project have been shaped by a desire to integrate the new structures with the protected brewery Counting House building. The plan will contribute to the local environment by opening up a new North/South route in sympathy with the original Streets and Lanes, from Grand Parade across to the unique landmarks of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Fort, Crawford and Proby’s Quay. This sensitive and creative approach will lead to significant regeneration benefits for the area and will serve as a catalyst for further development in the South City / Parish area.

Titled The Brewery Quarter, the development comprises a mixed scheme of retail, student accommodation, viewing tower, cinemas, restaurants, and bars together with commercial live-work units. A key feature of the development will be a large Exhibition /Conference space within the old brewery building which will be used for displaying artifacts linked to the history and tradition of brewing in cork and to the archeological and historical nature of the site.

At the heart of the regeneration project is a state of the art custom designed event centre, with a capacity to accommodate up to 6,000 patrons. Heineken Ireland and its development partner BAM Contractors have engaged extensively with Live Nation ,the revolutionaries of the onstage event centre music industry and owners of the O2 Dublin, to ensure that the centre will be a world class performance venue.

The significance of the site lies in its location within the medieval walled city, in the surviving brewery buildings, which may have been considered to have both historical and architectural significance, and in the surviving industrial equipment housed within those buildings The existing counting house building will from part of a conservation project, incorporating the retention of the front facade. The mash loft, cellars and storage areas with cast iron columns are retained and complimented by striking modern architecture. In terms of industrial archaeology some important artifacts will remain in situ, such as the mash tuns which date back to 1883. These artifacts will remain on public display.

Commenting on the plans David Forde Managing Director Heineken Ireland; “We in Heineken Ireland have always been conscious of the need to draft appropriate plans that optimise the uniqueness of the Beamish and Crawford site and in doing so, being mindful of the historical importance of the site. I think that not only have we delivered on that, but have exceeded it. I have no doubt that the quarter will be an extraordinary and unique addition to the city’s townscape with significant regeneration benefit, whilst at the same time, providing a vibrant and dynamic hub designed to reflect the unique aspects of the City of Cork and offering a range of activities and services for the discerning visitor. I can’t wait for it to happen.”

Heineken Ireland and BAM Contactors will have a model of the proposed development on public display in the foyer of Beamish & Crawford from mid January, which will provide the general public with a vision for the new development. The plans themselves will be available for inspection at City Hall in Cork and on the City Council website (planning portal).

BAM Contractors (formerly Ascon and Rohcon) is a subsidiary of the Dutch Royal BAM Group. For the Brewery Quarter development, BAM has assembled a team of design consultants whose combined talent and experience reflects its interests in the project and its ambition to deliver a unique, sustainable and commercially viable Quarter for the city of Cork. The team includes Architects Scott Talon Walker with Jack Coughlin and Associates, Malachy Walsh & Partners Engineers, specialist Tourist and Cultural advisors CHL Consulting, Archeologist Maurice Hurley and planner Brain Archer. Each brings a critical expertise and experience to the team.

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