With the Riverside Garden and Skatepark now completed at the Abbey Quarter, Kilkenny County Council is delighted to announce the official opening of this amenity by the Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council and Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District on Wednesday, 9th June.
Commenting on the project, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness, said: “it is truly magnificient to see projects such as this come to fruition and I am confident in saying that this park can and will have a long-lasting and positive impact on the lives of people living in Kilkenny and visitors alike. It is an area that will cater for the needs of a number of generations, all designed and constructed to the highest of standards and is a credit to the work of the Council’s Project Team led by Tony Lauhoff, the Design Team and Contractors.”
The project provides a riverside walk from the Tea Houses at Bateman Quay to Greensbridge, with a temporary walkway provided in the area of the planned new Urban Park around St. Francis Abbey.
The Riverside Garden project incorporates the newly completed skate park, which opened to the public on Saturday 1st May, 2021. The Skatepark is well used by skaters of all abilities and ages.
Praising the project, Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District said, “I can see the Riverside Garden and Skatepark becoming a focal point to be enjoyed by the people of Kilkenny City and a welcome addition to what Kilkenny has to offer to visitors as we welcome them back to the City”.
The completion of this stage of the project will provide members of the public with their first opportunity to access the former Brewery site and is the first of a number of projects that will integrate the former Brewery Site into the City.
Welcoming the opening of the Riverside Garden and Skatepark, Colette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council said: “Today is a very positive day for Kilkenny as we open this beautiful public space being the first stage of the public realm development of the Abbey Quarter site. While today is a major step forward, we have many more steps to take to complete the vision for the Abbey Quarter. I look forward to working with the Elected Members of Kilkenny County Council and our funders over the coming years to realise this vision.”
The project was designed by landscape architects Mitchell & Associates and has been constructed by Niall Barry & Co. Ltd, with the skate park constructed by Spraoi Linn Ltd. The venture has been part funded by the Kilkenny County Council, the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and Fáilte Ireland. The skate park has been developed in conjunction with Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership with funding support from Sport Ireland through the Dormant Accounts Community Sports Hub Fund.
The Mr. Tony Lauhoff, Senior Engineer, says: “This wonderful addition to the public realm in Kilkenny City would not have been possible without the significant support of our funding partners – the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, European Regional Development Fund through the Southern Regional Assembly and Fáilte Ireland. I am sure they are proud of what their funding has delivered. ”
Whilst the Riverside Garden project provides a significant extension to the riverside walkways through the city, plans to extend this further to provide connectivity under Greens Bridge, connecting with the Linear Park at Bishops Meadows/Riverside Drive are also currently being progressed with funding from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund. A feasibility study will be undertaken and if found viable, we will move ahead to design and planning for this connection.
Cllr. John Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly said, “I congratulate Kilkenny County Council on the successful delivery of the Riverside Gardens and Skatepark and how they utilised EU funding from the ERDF the S&E Regional Programme 14-20, managed by the Southern Regional Assembly. Projects such as this are a great example of how our EU membership directly benefits our regions and local communities.”
Brian O’Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland said, “After a very challenging year for tourism, and as the continued safe reopening of the tourism and hospitality sector in Ireland progresses this week, it is wonderful to see an outdoor amenity like Kilkenny River Garden opening to welcome visitors. This amenity will further enhance the rich cultural and heritage experiences of Kilkenny City and the wider Ireland’s Ancient East offering.”