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Bantry Bay Port Company Launch Design Review and Vision for Bantry Bay and Harbour
Bantry Bay Port Company recently commissioned the RIAI to undertake an independent and non-directional Design Review Process to consider the potential of the Inner Harbour and Slob Area in Bantry. The process also assists the local community in formulating a cohesive vision and strategy that maximises the benefits of integrating the marine and urban land uses in Bantry Town.
In 2017 Bantry Bay Port Company completed a significant investment of €8.5 million in the Bantry Inner Harbour development. The development, which consisted of a leisure marina, widening of the town pier, dredging of the inner harbour and creation of a foreshore amenity space, marked Bantry Bay Port Company’s commitment to regenerating the economic activity of Bantry Harbour and its region.
The objective of the RIAI Design Review process was to provide expert impartial advice to Bantry Bay Port Company, and this was carried out by three Registered Architects Peter Carroll, Louise Cotter and Paul Dillon, each of whom brought a wealth of relevant experience to the design review. During their work they focussed on four main areas, such as the slob area, the edges of the sea/harbour and the possible uses in terms of tourism, recreational and amenity, the enhancement and further development of boating facilities and finally the enhancement of the town itself.
Port of Cork CEO, Brendan Keating said: ‘It is hoped that this plan will raise the profile of Bantry’s maritime opportunity and provide a template for local community groups to engage with public agencies who can assist with deliverable projects, which can attract funding support. The recommendations by the Architects of this Design Review will signpost a realistic pathway which will deliver a new vision for the maritime/harbour interface with the town of Bantry.’
The ideas and insights presented in the Design Review Process can now be assessed by the local community and stakeholders with a view to seeking funding support to bring the project to fruition.
Commenting on the design review, Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO, said: ‘The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) is a champion for quality and sustainability in the built environment for the people of Ireland. Our purpose is to drive excellence in architecture and the built environment. As part of this remit, the RIAI has been successfully running Architectural Competitions and Design Reviews. We were delighted to contribute to A Vision for Bantry Bay and Harbour through the Design Review process, which provides expert and impartial advice. The Architects’ ideas in the Bantry report demonstrate both a consideration and understanding of place and a repository of innovative ideas, while cognisant of context and available resources. While RIAI Design Reviews are not a statutory process, they act as a driver for new ideas and fresh thinking for a quality-built environment.’
Bantry Bay Port Company would like to thank the local community, business groups and tourism groups for their support during this Design Review Process and look forward to continuing this relationship and showing that Bantry town can be a leader in terms of revitalisation of rural Ireland.
For further information or to view a copy of the Design Review Process please contact: Sara Mackeown, Commercial Marketing Executive, Port of Cork Company, M 086 1044011