Tuesday 23 July 2019

Ambitious Draft Mallow tourism plan to go on public display

Visionary project will enhance links between town park and historic sites

Bill Browne

The public has been issued with an open invitation to view a draft plan for an ambitious multi-million Euro project aimed at integrating three iconic Mallow landmarks into a single tourism package. 

In January of this year Cork County Council signed a contract with Cork-based planning and landscape specialists Brady Shipman Martin to take the lead in the project that will see the development of a network connecting the Town Park to the Mallow Castle Demesne and the iconic Spa House.

An information session will take place today (Thursday) between 3pm and 8pm at the Hibernian Hotel during which people will be given the opportunity to view the draft project plan.

Officials from Cork County Council will be on hand during the session to talk people through the plan and take on board any feedback. 

Speaking to the Corkman Mary Hayes, senior executive officer with Cork County Council, said that some funding for the project has already been ring-fenced and that, subject to planning, it is hoped to start work on the project early next year. 

"We are very interested in hearing people's views on the project and taking them on board before the plan is finalised," said Ms Hayes. 

The project, which will be delivered in stages over the next few years, has been specifically designed to enhance Mallow's overall potential as a major tourist and visitor destination for the wider North Cork region.  It will work in tandem with Cork County Council's masterplan for Mallow Castle, which has already seen works undertaken to improve access to the Castle and its grounds.

Ms Hayes one of the key components of the project would be to improve access between Mallow town centre, the Castle, Town Park and Spa House. 

"The works will be designed and delivered in a phased manner and will include new paths, a playground, cycleways, walkways, a designated deer viewing platform, fishing shelters, a trail head and improved parking," said the spokesperson. 

"These facilities will form key components of the overall development of the planned blueway along the River Blackwater. This is the latest step in advancing plans to develop an integrated park network, landmark amenity and tourist destination for Mallow." 

Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the project would integrate all that Mallow has to offer into a single, easy accessible visitor package. 

"It will result in the creation of a long-life local heritage amenity, recreational and tourism asset for Mallow and the surrounding area," said Mr Lucey.

"Apart from its potential as a general leisure and recreation facility, the integrated development also represents an outstanding opportunity for Mallow to establish a position of prominence for itself under Fáilte Ireland's new heritage proposition of Ireland's Ancient East and as a sub-region of the Wild Atlantic Way," he added.

Local county councillor Gearóid Murphy said the project had the potential to bring huge benefits to Mallow and its hinterlands: "On the one hand it will provide a wonderful, integrated leisure amenity for the local community to enjoy. 

"In addition, it will provide a central focus for tourists, in turn helping to stimulate the local economy by attracting visitors to the town," said Cllr Murphy. 

"I would urge people to come along to the information session, view the draft plan and offer their feedback on the development of these wonderful local amenities."