A plan has been unveiled for the development of part of the Smithwick’s Brewery site in the centre of Kilkenny into a national research and development centre and a hub for high performance start-ups.
Kilkenny County and City Boroughs have agreed to a proposal to transform the historic Brewhouse and Maturation Building on the old Smithwick’s site into a Research and Development and Enterprise Campus at a cost of E3.5 m.
Central to the plan is the relocation of the successful TSSG/Arc Lab Kilkenny facility to the proposed new campus. The TSSG/Arc Lab facility (Telecoms Software and System Group) is a joint venture between the Kilkenny Local Authorities, Waterford and Carlow Institute of Technologies, and is a hub for next generation internet development for companies in the finance, banking, insurance and agri-business sectors.
Since it opened in St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny last year it has generated E2m of business and now employs 20 highly skilled researchers. It is full and seeking to expand.
It is envisaged that the proposed Research and Development and Enterprise Campus would also be used for high performance start-ups, major technology and other companies and as a foreign direct investment location.
Kilkenny County and Borough Council purchased 12 acres of Diageo/Smithwicks lands in the centre of Kilkenny City in 2012 following the announcement of the brewery closure. The site includes a significant number of buildings and Diageo has announced plans to build a E3m visitor centre on part of the site.
Earlier this year, Kilkenny County and City Borough Councils launched a unique consultation for the development of the site, inviting architects and planners to participate in a colloquium under the auspices of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.
Following this process it was recommended that a number of buildings on the Smithwick’s site be retained including The Mayfair, (an office building), the Hopstore, the Maturation building and the Brewhouse.
City and County manager, Joe Crockett, today welcomed the decision by councillors to agree to the plan for the site. “It is an objective of the Councils economic development policy to advance the development of third and fourth level education research and development, and to expand Kilkenny as a centre for national and internationally traded services”. SOurce: Business & Leadership