A NEW cultural quarter in the heart of Macroom town centre is a step closer following the allocation of €395,000 under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).
The money allocated will fund public realm works in the town centre, as well as funding the first phase of ambitious plans to upgrade and re-purpose the former St Colman’s Church in Castle Street, which was gifted to the town by the Church of Ireland in 1992. These plans, being delivered in partnership with Lee Valley Enterprise Board, Macroom E and Macroom Tidy Towns, include a viewing tower, as well as creating a flexible space for exhibitions and recitals in the building.
The funding will also allow for the restoration of the old mill race in Masseytown and the constructions of new walkways on the banks of the River Sullane.
Macroom and Fermoy were the only two Cork towns selected for funding under the scheme. Cork South West Fine Gael TD Michael Creed said this will pave the way for a new cultural quarter in the town centre.
‘Cork County Council made a comprehensive and persuasive application to the Department of Community and Rural Regeneration for funding to begin re-imagining an area of Macroom town centre which has enormous potential,’ he said.
‘With the right plan and further investment, the banks of the River Sullane, the historic mill race in Masseytown and the old Protestant Church can become a new cultural quarter for the town.’
Deputy Creed pointed out that because they are only months away from the completion of the Macroom and Baile Bhúirne bypass – which is scheduled in the third quarter of 2023 – Macroom will enter a new phase in its history, ending many years of chronic traffic problems.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said: ‘ Macroom is a key heritage town with a fascinating history that goes to the heart of its identity. The project is centred around repurposing the former Church of Ireland building, an important landmark that has huge potential. Cork County Council is committed to working with local organisations, businesses and residents to achieve the best possible results for our county towns.’
Members of the public are invited to make submissions to Cork County Council on the future use of the former St Colman’s Church on Castle Street before January 28th.