Liberties Creative Campus

Proposal for Liberties Creative Campus

€19 million ‘creative campus’ would create workspaces for artists in the city centre


Business, Life

Dublin City Council is to carry out a feasibility study into ambitious plans for a €19 million ‘creative campus’ in The Liberties.

3 Council-owned sites have been identified, at Bridgefoot Street and at 8 and 9 Merchants Quay. The study hopes to assess how these sites could be transformed, developed and regenerated as workspace accommodation for artists across a broad range of artforms.

The proposals are part of an Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) regeneration project that aims to deliver new workspace for artists within the city.

The creation of a €11 million campus on Bridgefoot Street could result in an economic benefit to the region in excess of approximately €30 million over a ten-year timeframe and an approximate economic impact of over €2 million per annum, growing year on year. Meanwhile the sites on 8 and 9 Merchants Quay may receive an investment of up to €8 million.

The vision of the project is to jointly develop the sites and properties, and partnering with existing organisations in Dublin 8, such as the existing NCAD site, to form a campus for the arts and cultural sector that will also deliver new community facilities and public spaces.

“This is an early feasibility study funded by the URDF, but at its heart is a compact regeneration project focused on the Liberties area of the city,” said Richard Shakespeare, Assistant Chief Executive with Dublin City Council. “It could deliver a vibrant culture-led renewal built on delivering new workspace accommodation for the arts sector, alongside community assets that benefit the local area and wider public, and leveraging existing links and arts infrastructure in the area. If feasible Dublin City Council will be promoting the Liberties Creative Campus for further URDF funding to deliver on these plans.”

For a number of years, artists across the sector have voiced a need for high quality and appropriate workspace, where they can create and collaborate on their work in a secure, affordable and vibrant environment.

“Earlier this year we undertook research, reaching out to the sector to help us establish principles for any new development,” said Ray Yeates from Dublin City Council’s Arts Office. “We focused on building and space design, but also addressing wider issues such as artform mix, support services, public outreach and interactions, and governance models. Our research shows that almost 41% of artists who responded were currently seeking workspace, with no current alternatives and a further 10% working from home.”

Dublin City Council is today publishing the findings report and seven design principles that we will apply to these three new sites, and in consultation with the arts sector and local community co-design our Liberties Creative Campus plans. We have engaged a team of experts to look at cultural-led urban regeneration models here in Ireland and across Europe. We hope the sector will continue their positive and constructive involvement and urge the wider community to get involved by participating in this upcoming round of consultation.

Dublin City Council will begin consultation with the public, artists and local communities in mid November, through a series of online workshops and online consultation platform ( led by consultants Turley and architects OBFA.

It follows a similar consultation process earlier this summer which received detailed responses from more than 500 individual artists and arts organisations, almost 20% of resident artists in the city, and saw more than 2,000 people engaged through the projects website and a series of artist-focussed workshops.

What next? How to ‘Have Your Say’

Dublin City Council will now begin consultation with the public and local communities, and re-engage with artists in November through a series of online workshops and the online consultation platform (   Online consultation events will take place online on the following dates and times:

Wednesday 25th November 2020, 10am – 11am
Wednesday 25th November 2020, 6pm – 7pm
Thursday 26th November 2020, 1pm – 2pm

To allow us to reach a diverse and high volume of responses we are inviting interested members of the local community to take part in the co-design survey and to register for one of the upcoming online co-design workshops.

It is hoped the process outlined above will establish a new model for feasibility consultation following an extensive user led co-design process with the arts sector and local community.

The co-design survey will be published on the project website during week commencing 16th November.

Liberties Creative Campus

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