St Francis' Abbey (2015).
The St Francis Abbey brewery site is now in the possession of Kilkenny County Council following a formal handover in November after the completion of demolition work.
At Monday’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council, engineer Tony Lauhoff updated the members on the project. With demolition works complete, the statutory purchase was made, and a formal handover took place on November 18.
The funding partnership, between Kilkenny County Council and the NTMA – for development of specific plots on the former brewery site – has now been formally established, with the company registered as ‘Kilkenny Abbey Quarter Development Limited’.
Design work on a number of development projects in the masterplan are being progressed to detailed design and tender stage.
Site investigation work has begun on the Brewhouse building, which – given its proximity to St Francis’ Abbey – is subject to archaeological supervision and ministerial consents.
Archaeological test excavations for the riverside garden project will begin next month subject to ministerial consent. The removal of poplar trees, which ‘screened’ the old industrial buildings on the site, will also commence next month (with the apporiate consents also).
Site investigations using a sensitive ground-penetrating radar with an electromagnetic pulse were trialled, but were not deemed suitable due to the nature of the site, modern underground services, and the background interference of a busy urban area. A test excavation strategy has been agreed with the National Monuments Service.
Consultation with local youth groups in relation to the proposed ‘teenage activity area’ including a skate park, allowed for in the riverside garden project, will begin in the coming weeks in conjunction with the Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership.
A consultation team has been appointed and it is looking at the conservation of city walls, led by an archaeologist. There has been some removal of vegetation from the walls, subject to ministerial consent.
Work is also being progressed on the preparation and implementation a number of strategies allowed for in the Abbey Creative Quarter Masterplan, including the implementation of the Archaeological Assessment Strategy for the Masterplan (in consultation with the National Monuments Service), the preparation of a Low Carbon Energy Strategy, preparation of a parking options study, preparation of Urban Design Criteria and the preparation of a Utility Services design for the proposed development.