Exciting new blueprint for the future of Tullamore Harbour

The imagined future of Tullamore Harbor is being achieved incrementally through phased development. Photo: Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Master Plan Framework

A dramatic blueprint had been published to fundamentally reshape Tullamore Harbour.

The Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan Framework depicts the harbor precinct as an immersive waterfront destination with multi-dimensional uses for citizens, residents, businesses and visitors.

The plan aims to design a route through which the port area becomes a center of commerce, recreation and a place to live and visit.

Public opinion is now being sought on the transformative plans – and an open day will be held at Tullamore Library on Thursday 20 June.

The detailed master plan, which was published on Thursday, provides a new image of the port area based on a catalog of development options.

The study area includes the Grand Canal Harbor and adjacent sites, the Canal Spur Line providing access to the harbor basin, and Young’s Store – a three-storey former warehouse with a floor area of ​​approximately 275 square meters on the canal along Convent Road.

Looking towards the gate of St Mary’s Youth Center and Creche in the harbor with a terrace with shops/studios on the right and the dry dock on the left. Photo: Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Master Plan Framework

An imagined view from the eastern bank of the Canal Spur towards the revitalized harbor area. Photo: Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan Framework.

A night scene in the redesigned workshop area. Photo: Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Master Plan Framework.

One of the central objectives is to reconnect the redeveloped port with the rest of the city and ensure that it becomes a vibrant economic and social district for living, working and recreation.

Together with O’Connor Square and Market Square, Grand Canal Harbor can become a new and unique space – a Water Square – a hub of activity,

The new plan highlights a menu of possibilities and identifies four key locations within the harbor as strategic locations for development: one at the southern end of the Canal Spur, where a building would act as a welcoming marker for the city from the canal, another at the northeastern side of the harbour. ‘peninsula’ of the harbour, accessed from St. Brigid’s Place; and at two other positions within the existing limestone walls along the western and southern boundaries.

The plan envisions St. Brigid’s Place as “an important, destination and welcoming space” for boat visitors.

The catalog of opportunities represents a menu of possibilities, each of which, the masterplan says, could contribute to the revitalization of the harbor and this part of Tullamore. The menu approach provides the opportunity to choose different combinations of a number of possibilities to achieve a vibrant and successful transformation.

The options mentioned include adjustments to the surrounding streets; proposed new access points to the port; the restoration of the beautifully crafted late 18th century stonework of the Canal Harbour, the Dry Dock, the Canal Spur and Young’s Store; as well as locations for potential development.

It also envisions the transformation of O’Carroll Street as a pedestrian-friendly boulevard in the city.

The whole concept was made possible by a decision by Waterways Ireland to move its depot from the Tullamore Harbor site in the center of Tullamore to a new greenfield site 1km east of the town.

This paved the way for an opportunity to propose future redevelopment of the port area, the first opportunity in more than 70 years to open up public access to the port site.

“The prospect of owning a port in the heart of an urban environment is a rare and sought-after natural asset for government agencies and developers alike,” the master plan says.

The master plan was drawn up by Grafton Architects. With the publication yesterday (Thursday), Offaly County Council with Waterways Ireland and Grafton Architects are now seeking public insights to ensure the Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan meets the community’s aspirations.

The masterplan says the menu of options will be subject to a detailed cost-benefit analysis and will be dependent on achieving the right financing model at the right time.

The masterplan states that Waterways Ireland and Offaly County Council will continue to work with various partners to deliver a phased redevelopment of the port area, including the basin, adjacent Canal Spur Line and Young’s Store. The next phase of planning includes the establishment of a working group to prioritize development opportunities, identify related funding sources and development models.

The Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan is available for inspection at the offices of Offaly County Council, Áras an Chontae, Tullamore Municipal District, Tullamore Library during normal business hours until 11 July. An open day will be held at Tullamore Library on June 20 from 12pm to 7pm.

Submissions or comments regarding the proposed Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan Framework may be made in writing to Tullamore Municipal District, Town Hall, Cormac Street, Tullamore or by email to [email protected] on or before July 25 .

The Tullamore Grand Canal Harbor Masterplan is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2020 (URDF), co-funded by Offaly County Council and Waterways Ireland.