Thursday 22 March 2018

Castle at centre of ambitious plan for 'Cultural Quarter'

John Manning

AMBITIOUS plans are being drawn up to provide for 'cultural quarter' in Swords with Swords Castle at its centre.

At a meeting of the local area committee. county architect, Fionnuala May presented a briefing paper to councillors on the early stages of a plan to develop a Swords Cultural Quarter Architectural Masterplan.

The project is being pursued by a cross-departmental group within Fingal County Council and tenders are going out to consultants to help develop the masterplan for this historical area of Swords.

In the briefing document presented by Ms May, the rationale for the project is set out. Referencing a previous masterplan for Swords presented in 2009, the council recognised that while the aspirations of that larger plan should be retained 'a short to medium term pragmatic response to the immediate needs of the community is required'.

The briefing document states: 'Swords is no different to many other towns throughout the country that have suffered during the years of the downturn and the commission of the masterplan is in recognition of the need to direct recovery in a sustainable way.

'This 'Swords Castle focussed Masterplan should respect the long-term strategic objectives of the council as they relate to Swords, but more critically will be required recognise the requirement to seek out a new direction for this part of Swords and to facilitate the delivery of a new social and cultural destination centred around Swords Castle and linking back to the retail heart of the town.'

Fingal Independent