NUI Galway to develop plan for Nun’s Island area with Galway City Council

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of master planning consultants to assist in the preparation of a plan which will result in a strategy for a structured approach to regeneration of the lands at Nun’s Island in Galway City.

The former industrial area in Galway City currently contains a number of uses including residential, education, commercial, civic and cultural as well as a number of disused buildings in the ownership of NUI Galway, unused spaces, and a valuable public realm which includes a number of waterways.

The University and Galway City Council are collaborating to develop a master plan to investigate the potential to optimise the use of this underutilised city centre space through the appropriate mix of redevelopment and public realm spaces.

International planning and design consultants BDP have been appointed as master planners and bring global experience in planning, urban design, landscape architecture and community engagement. BDP were the master planner and lead architect for Liverpool’s city centre urban renewal scheme and have also developed the master plan for the River Lagan area of Belfast in recent years.

Consultation with residents

The first phase of the process which will commence over the coming months will involve a programme of consultation with the public, including focused engagement with local residents, community and business groups as well as other interested parties. This consultation process will inform the development of an integrated masterplan scheduled to be completed next summer.

Speaking on Tuesday President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said this piece of Galway City has the potential to generate a range of community, economic, social, environmental and educational benefits and this master planning exercise will deliver fresh perspectives on the development of University lands and properties on Nun’s Island.

“Our advancement as a University is influenced strongly by the strengths of our hinterland and we welcome all views that will contribute to the long-term development of Nun’s Island for the betterment of our community.

“This process will result in a plan with options for regenerating the area and we look forward to hearing the ideas of local residents, businesses, community groups and other interested parties as we collectively look to the future for this part of the city,” he said.

The plan will be developed in partnership with Galway City Council as part of the commitments in Policy 5.1 of the Galway City Council Development Plan 2017-2023.

Significant land bank

Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council said: “Nun’s Island is a significant land bank within Galway City Centre. A visionary plan for its regeneration that takes account of the objectives of the City Development Plan is paramount to the future of Galway City.

“Galway City Council looks forward to collaborating with NUI Galway to secure a high quality redevelopment of this important area to the benefit of the city and its people,” he said.

The outcome of the process will be a developed strategy for regeneration, taking into account the current social and economic environment, so the plan can be fully realised. It will take cognisance of the statutory City Plan and the measures included in the GalwayTransport Strategy. This appointment will complement and shortly coincide with the Galway City Council’s appointment of consultants to prepare a Public Realm Strategy for the city centre and will see all parties coordinating to deliver the best options for regeneration and rejuvenation for the city.

The University will shortly publish details of its public consultation plan which will afford opportunities for all to have an input to shape the process. The first community meetings on the subject will happen in during October and November. All local residents and businesses will be contacted directly and invited to participate in the process. Other interested parties can email [email protected] to be kept informed.

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