Campaign to redevelop Market Square in Kilcullen

Investment

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Campaign to redevelop Market Square in Kilcullen

The bridge at Kilcullen is near Market Square

Community representatives from Kilcullen are seeking €200,000 from Kildare County Council towards the cost of redeveloping Market Square plans for a redesign of Market Square in Kilcullen.

Market Square is currently a car park area opposite the Bank of Ireland adjacent to the river.

They are seeking €200,000 from KCC  and the work has been estimated to cost €500,000.

Antoinette Buckley, a representative of Kilcullen Community Action which is managing the project, told a Naas Municipal District meeting that the group hopes to see the are redeveloped in time to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the creation of the bridge next year.

“It would be fantastic to have a double celebration. We started the project last summer and it is now at the design stage. This is about protecting the future of the town and more importantly to protect the future commercial life of Kilcullen,” she said.

Ms. Buckley said that the  public meetings have taken place in Kilcullen to inform business owners and residents of the plan.

A parking survey was conducted and Easter and Christmas markets were staged to showcase what the town has to offer and to encourage people to shop locally.”All local businesses got involved and these events brought more fotball into the town and businesses reported increase turnover. If businesses do well the town will survive ad niprove,” Ms. Buckley told the Leader.

A dawn alks and concert were also staged with the square as e focal point and she thnaked all who have assisted the project.

It’s hoped the redevelopment will attracted more retailers to the vacant units and the new layout will improve safety for motorists and pedestrians.

“We want to make sure that anyone with mobility issues will have good, safe access to Market Square and we will have appropriate parking spaces.”

The plan envisages a pedestrian crossing from the square across the street (to the Bank of Ireland) and in a later phase a footbridge is proposed from the  canoe club behind the papart metns near the square to the credit union side of the river.

The footbridge could cost an additional €100,000.

Conservation architect Laura Bowen said the  overall aim to provide a central focus point within the town to create a destination to visit  for visitors and residents.

“While the town’s people are by any stretch an extremely socially cohesive and community orientated group, the architectural environment of the space does not reflect this strength or cohesiveness. This spirit needs an outlet or focus in the built environment,” Ms. Bowen said.