Architects appointed to progress Killybegs regeneration project

Donegal based McCabe Architects have been appointed by Donegal County Council to deliver the new €4.84m ‘Killybegs 2040’ regeneration project.

The transformative town centre regeneration project with place-making at its core is being led by Donegal County Council as part of its ambitious programme of Regeneration and Development of town centres across the county.

It aims to transform the urban fabric of the town through targeted renewal and environmental improvements that will contribute to a more attractive place for residents, visitors and business and be a catalyst in creating jobs, increasing revenue and activating the private sector.

The project has a value of €4.84m and is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund, which is a flagship element of Project Ireland 2040.

The project is the result of collaboration with the local community, Donegal County Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Welcoming the progression of the project to this important milestone Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Rena Donaghey acknowledged the importance of town centre investment and regeneration at this time, saying: “the Council is committed to the development of transformational regeneration projects of this nature which drive investment in the renewal of our town centres and make a real difference to the attractiveness and liveability of our towns. This particular project comes at a vital time for Killybegs and its wider community as they respond to the challenges of post-pandemic recovery. The new public realm environment, tourist information centre and Innovation Hub will create wonderful opportunities and new possibilities for job diversification, social purposes and commercial functions.”

An iconic element of the project will see the dramatic redevelopment of Island House as a new tourism facility in conjunction with a digital hub targeted at fostering further business, enterprise and innovation in Killybegs.

The Island House redevelopment will be complemented by the proposed transformation of the existing public car park at the Diamond to a civic space with multi-user capacities that will encourage visitors and residents to the town centre.

In this regard Cathaoirleach of the Donegal Municipal District, Cllr. Michael Naughton said: “the town is on the route of the Wild Atlantic Way and the regional route to Sliabh Liag, a Failte Ireland Signature Discovery Point. Capitalising on this market and the increasing number of visitors to the area through the new Tourist Information Centre at Island House and associated outdoor civic space has the potential to elevate Killybegs to more of ‘a destination in its own right’ with related expenditure in the Town”.

Speaking about Killybegs 2040, Liam Ward, Director of Community Development and Planning Services with Donegal County Council says: “The proposed development forms part of a broader strategy for the regeneration of Killybegs and supports both the identification of Killybegs as a Strategic Town in the County Donegal Development Plan 2018-2024, and the implementation of the specific regeneration objectives of the Seven Strategic Towns Local Area Plan 2018-2024. The project has been led by the Councils Regeneration and Development Team and is also match funded by the Council, representing a significant commitment to the regeneration of Killybegs and south Donegal.”

The Detailed Design Stage has now commenced and will complete, together with the Construction Tender Process, over the next period of approximately 26 weeks.

Declan McCabe, Managing Architect at McCabe Architects said “we are looking forward to working with the Council, the community and all stakeholders to deliver this exciting project to the highest standards of completion in line with community expectations and the Council’s regeneration ambitions. We plan to complete the detailed design stage in time for the commencement of construction in Q4 of 2021 with a scheduled build period of approximately 52 weeks.”