Plan to create ‘Knowledge quarter’ on site of Kilkenny brewery

A new “knowledge and business quarter” on part of the former Smithwick’s brewery site in Kilkenny bought last year by the city for €2.1m reports this mornings Independent.

The aim is to promote Kilkenny as an alternative investment location to Dublin for foreign and domestic firms who want to locate or expand in Ireland.

As well as business opportunities, the 13-acre project will also include a third-level campus as part of the proposed Technological University of the Southeast and a new riverside city centre park as well as retail outlets and residential units.

The knowledge and business quarter will provide significant office space on a site along the banks of the River Nore overlooking Kilkenny Castle, with the capacity for many jobs, Kilkenny councillors were told at a meeting yesterday.

The purchase of the 13-acre piece of land was agreed with Diageo last year after the drinks giant announced it was moving its Smithwick’s brewing operation from Kilkenny to Dublin, ending 300 years of brewing on the site. Diageo is developing a €3m visitor centre on another part of the old brewery site.

Architect Tony Reddy prepared a master plan for the 13 acres and presented it to local politicians in Kilkenny at a meeting yesterday afternoon.

The plan has the capacity to regenerate and renew the centre of Kilkenny and delivers major economic growth, said Kilkenny city mayor Martin Brett. “The site is of strategic importance to the people of Kilkenny and a means for major city centre renewal and regeneration,” he said, adding that there would be “extensive public consultation” on the proposals. Source: The Irish Independent.