Cultural Quarter Update at Granary Meeting

Waterford Cultural QuarterWaterford City & County Council held a public consultation meeting on Wednesday last at The Granary in O’Connell Street to discuss the contents and implications of the Waterford Cultural Quarter Plan and to provide the local residents and businesses a forum to voice their opinions.
The Waterford Cultural Quarter Plan explores the potential for a Cultural Quarter which will play a transformative role for the O’Connell Street district of the city, for the residents and businesses and for the capacity, confidence and sustainable growth of the cultural and creative sectors of the city and region.
In doing so, it will play a vital development role for Waterford city centre, nurturing and attracting distinctive cultural and creative production and generating a dynamic cultural life for the area.
Over 60 members of the public attended the lively meeting where Michael Quinn City & County Council Director of Service, gave a presentation with Sharon O Brien (WIT School of Architecture) and Michael Grant (Waterford Youth Arts).
Anne Nolan (Integration and Support Unit), Caroline Senior (Garter Lane) and Aileen Drohan (South East Makerspace) also facilitated.
A variety of topics were discussed and questions posed included; Do you agree with the building blocks to a Cultural Quarter discussed in the Plan? What ideas should we prioritise? Which ideas will deliver the greatest benefits? Discussions were also had regarding potential risks involved and methods to improve social inclusion amongst other topics.
The attendees were asked to name areas of interest for them, they included; a venue for a hub; prioritisation of public realm works immediately such as street lighting and security; having a spokesperson for the Waterford Cultural Quarter.
Responses also included a desire to have communication with residents to be improved; accommodation and kitchens facing out onto the street; ‘innovative living spaces’ for artists; implementation of marketing including embracing new digital marketing. Residents were interested in more cultural development as well as community development.
Residents and members of the public can consult the draft plan in the Waterford Libraries or at www.waterfordcouncil.ieand can make submissions to the plan by emailing culturalquarter@waterfordcouncil.ie by post: c/o Eddie Ruane, City Hall, Waterford or electronic submissions can be made at www.waterfordcouncil.ie Telephone enquiries can be made to 0761 10 2020.
Once all submissions are analysed and the consultation period ends the plan will go to the December Plenary meeting of Waterford City and County Council.
The Cultural Quarter Steering Committee will prepare an Action Plan to begin implementing tasks that can be carried out in the short, medium and long term to help develop O’Connell Street to its full potential.

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