Dublin City Council is to carry out a study into ambitious plans for a €19 million ‘Liberties Creative Campus’ based in the city.
Three council-owned sites in Dublin have been identified, at Bridgefoot St and at 8 and 9 Merchants Quay that would be suitable for such a location.
The study hopes to assess how these sites could be transformed, developed and regenerated as workspace accommodation for artists across a broad range of artforms.
The ‘Liberties Creative Campus’ could result in a significant economic benefit.
The proposals are part of an Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) regeneration project that aims to deliver new workspace for artists within the city.
The creation of a campus on Bridgefoot St could result in an economic benefit to the region in excess of approximately €30 million over a 10-year timeframe and an annual approximate economic impact of over €2million per annum, growing year on year.
Meanwhile, it’s speculated that the sites on 8 and 9 Merchants Quay may receive an investment of up to €8 million.
It’s said that the vision of the ambitious project is to jointly develop the sites while partnering with existing organisations in Dublin 8, such as NCAD to form a campus for the arts and cultural sector that will deliver new community facilities and public spaces.
“This is an early feasibility study funded by the URDF, but at its heart is a compact regeneration project focused on the Liberties area of the city,” said Richard Shakespeare, Assistant Chief Executive with Dublin City Council.
“It could deliver a vibrant culture-led renewal built on delivering new workspace accommodation for the arts sector, alongside community assets that benefit the local area and wider public, and leveraging existing links and arts infrastructure in the area. If feasible Dublin City Council will be promoting the Liberties Creative Campus for further URDF funding to deliver on these plans.”
For a number of years, artists across the sector have voiced a need for high quality and appropriate workspace, where they can create and collaborate on their work in a secure, affordable and vibrant environment.
“Earlier this year we undertook research, reaching out to the sector to help us establish principles for any new development,” said Ray Yeates from Dublin City Council’s Arts Office.
“We focused on building and space design, but also addressing wider issues such as artform mix, support services, public outreach and interactions, and governance models. Our research shows that almost 41% of artists who responded were currently seeking workspace, with no current alternatives and a further 10% working from home.”
Dublin City Council will begin consultation with the public, artists and local communities in late November, through a series of online workshops and online consultation platform led by consultants Turley and architects OBFA.
This follows a similar consultation process which took place earlier this summer.
The process received detailed responses from more than 500 individual artists and arts organisations, almost 20% of resident artists in the city, and saw more than 2,000 people engaged through the projects website as well as a series of artist-focussed workshops.