The application for ‘Thurles Market Quarter: Regeneration through Recreation, Education and Support for Local Producers has been granted funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund from the Department of Rural & Community Development. This project was one of 24 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country included in the allocation of funding totalling €75million announced by Mrs. Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development on Monday, 19th April. Funding was also allocated in respect of the “Kilsheelan Revitalisation of Rural Villages: A Model for Cluster Housing and Low Carbon”.
The project was developed by Tipperary County Council in collaboration and partnership with Thurles Lions Club and Mary Immaculate College, Thurles and with support from Thurles Farmer’s Market, Tipperary Local Enterprise Office, Thurles Retail Forum and the Tipperary Food Producers Network. The application was submitted as a shovel ready project under Category 1 of the Fund.
The project will involve the renovation of a Council owned 19th Century vacant agricultural building and its associated car-park for redevelopment to create the Thurles Market Quarter as follows:
- Restoration, renovation and a glazed extension to the existing agricultural building for use as a Student’s Union, café, and operational space for the covered external area;
- Installation of a fixed roof covering and associated supporting structures to facilitate local producers, craft fairs, performances, exercise, exhibitions and events;
- Removal of the boundary wall between the Market Quarter and St. Patrick’s College which will further integrate the college into the town centre, will highlight the architectural and historic heritage of the college and will allow the public to access the grounds of St. Patrick’s for use as an amenity space;
- Upgrade of the access to the site with an emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist movements;
- Installation of EV car charging points and bicycle parking.
The delivery of a Market Quarter for Thurles was identified as a key action in the Thurles Town Centre Renewal Strategy following an extensive public consultation process involving the community, local businesses and Elected Members with very high levels of participation and engagement.
Thurles Market Quarter will provide a designated multi-functional space in the town centre for local food and craft producers, artists and performers and offer a location in the centre of a cluster of civic spaces to be enjoyed by locals and visitors while also acting as a base for the MIC Student’s Union. The provision of a canopy over the Market Quarter will allow for a year-round venue capable of accommodating a multitude of uses.
The proposals will re-establish Thurles as a market town and further cement Thurles’ reputation as a Third Level Town. This project will build upon a number of significant developments already completed by the Council such as Thurles Leisure Centre, Thurles Town Park, The Source Regional Arts Centre and also the Liberty Square Enhancement Scheme which is currently underway in the town.
The project supports a key deliverable objective of “Our Rural Future” - the Government’s ambitious new policy for Rural Ireland – Revitalising Rural Towns and Villages, Rural Living, Agriculture.
The grant funding allocated to the project amounts to €2,893,861 and Tipperary County Council will provide match funding of €321,540
in recognition of its ongoing commitment to the rejuvenation of Thurles town as a vibrant place to live, work and visit.
Tipperary County Council looks forward to working in conjunction with Thurles Lions Club and Mary Immaculate College, Thurles on the delivery of this ambitious project which will act as a catalyst in attracting additional shoppers into the town centre and support and sustain existing town centre business.