Liberties Business Forum Annual Report 2016

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The Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative is a collaborative partnership between Dublin City Council and local stakeholders and businesses in the commercial streets of The Liberties Dublin. The programme is working to revive one of Dublin’s most historic and colourful districts to create a highly attractive area within which to live, work, visit and invest.

The Liberties Business Forum was established in 2014 to represent the interests of large and small businesses and stakeholders in Dublin’s historic Liberties district. The Forum works in partnership with Dublin City Council to oversee and deliver The Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative. Its an organisation to lobby for increased investment and improved services for businesses in Dublin 8 and a partnership to promote The Liberties as an integral feature of the city’s commercial, social and cultural life.

This Annual Report sets out the achievements of the Business Area Improvement Initiative and the Forum in 2016. The Liberties Business Forum Company Limited by Guarantee Registered Office: 1st Floor Eblana House, Marrowbone Lane, Dublin D08 E120 Company No: 562358


COLLABORATION Chairperson’s Statement The Liberties Business Forum was born out of the desire of businesses and institutions in The Liberties to collaborate and develop a sense of shared purpose, so that collectively we could enhance and revitalise our area. Now into its fourth year, the Forum has developed a strong sense of purpose and provides diverse and dynamic leadership for the area. This second Annual Report lists some of the achievements of our area partnership over the past 12 months. But just look around, to the wider area, and its clear that The Liberties is reaping the benefits of progressive leadership and sustained investment. The future for businesses in this area – the city’s oldest commercial district – is brighter, and the pace of renewal and change is increasing, offering ever more opportunities. The Forum has been an active supporter of the National Children’s Hospital development and the rejuvenation of St James’s Hospital campus as the most important development taking place in the area, drawing €1bn of investment and positioning Dublin 8 as a new health and life sciences district for Dublin. We remain committed to maximising the opportunities arising from this project and to continue to support the hospital development board with its ambitious plans. However, the Forum also recognises that commercial renewal must be balanced with social regeneration. Many of the Forum members live in this area, and so how the area changes and develops matters to us. We have been active this year in pressing for a more considered provision of social services in the area and increased spending by Dublin City Council to improve the cleanliness and attractiveness of the area. Finally, The Liberties benefits from a great deal of good will and positive interest from the wider city. The members of the Forum are also ambassadors for Dublin 8: selling, promoting and drawing investment and new businesses to an area of Dublin firmly on the up. We aim to make The Liberties and Dublin 8 THE best area in Dublin in which to live, work, visit and invest.

Catherine Heaney - Managing Director, DHR Communications, Francis Street


CHAIRPERSON Catherine Heaney

DHR Communications, Francis Street


Dublin City Council South Central Area

Christian Hayden

A4 Art, Thomas Street

Gerry Macken

The Digital Hub Development Agency (Res. October 2016)

Jack Roche

Greengrocer, Meath Street

Nicholas Gore-Grimes

Cross Gallery, Francis Street

Richard Hamilton

Future Analytics Consulting - Independent member

Vincent Callan

St James’s Hospital (App. January 2016)

Angela Smith

Diageo Ireland, James Street (App. January 2016)


Diageo Ireland, James Street

Fiach MacConghail

The Digital Hub Development Agency

Joanne Kearney

The Digital Hub Development Agency

Jack Teeling

Teeling Whiskey Company

Lisa Jameson

Teeling Whiskey Company

Peter Finnegan

Dublin City Council South Central Area

Aoife Carragher

Reilly’s Pharmacy, Cornmarket

Jennifer Kennedy

The Guinness Storehouse, JK Consulting

Celine Weldon

The Guinness Storehouse

Bernard Hanratty

National College of Art & Design


Anthony Joyce Solicitors, Oliver Bond Street

EXECUTIVE Stephen Coyne

Programme Coordinator

Michael Barry

Marketing & Promotions Officer (until April 2016)

TAKE A FRESH LOOK Liberties Business Forum is working to transform the commercial heart of Dublin 8 through public and private sector investment, to create a more vibrant and attractive city neighbourhood. ‒

2016 was a bumper year of visitors to The Liberties with the 6 top visitor attractions in the area recording over 2.5m visitors between them. The Guinness Storehouse retains its title as Ireland’s foremost paying attraction with 1.6m visitors in 2016. Over 250 participants enjoyed our ‘Summer in The Liberties’ programme of 9 walks and talks in July and August exploring the history and heritage of the area.

#Better4BusinessD8 - Our micro-business economy now encompasses over 1,200 entrepreneurs and 190 companies, across 2 world-class digital, media and small business hubs: The Digital Hub and The GEC.

The Liberties got greener! Completion of the High Street and Thomas Street Greening Plans with over 90 tree planters and troughs lining the route. Completion of a median greening project on Nicholas Street and Patrick Street. Temporary street initiatives on Francis Street including planters, street benches and cycle racks. Approval for the new Weaver Park on Cork Street.

A wide-ranging programme of building renewal and investment in our famous shopping streets. 16 projects supported under the Shopfront Improvement Scheme 2016 including restoration of the iconic Chadwick’s Arch on Thomas Street.

Commencement of enabling works for the National Children Hospital. Completion and opening of MISA building, new St James’s Private Hospital and ongoing multi-million euro campus renewal programme at St James’s Hospital.

A major programme of redevelopment at Newmarket is underway including new student housing, hotels, building restorations, office spaces and tourism uses. Dublin City Council develop a public realm masterplan for Newmarket. Teeling Distillery welcomed 100,000 visitors to Newmarket in 2016.

High media profile throughout 2016 with articles in local and national media and TV. Over 40,000 visits to The Liberties Dublin website and an active engagement through social media with businesses to draw new investment to Dublin 8.


The Liberties is an area that is full of personality and it is currently drawing new ideas, new energy and new people. Through the Liberties Business Forum, we are collaborating and supporting each other. This collaboration is part of the personality of the area and it’s one of the reasons why someone would locate here.

6 bi-monthly-meetings of Liberties Business Forum

12 monthly newsletters to over 400 businesses and community

40,000 visits to - over 70% of hits from Dublin

11,000 followers across 3 social media platforms

3 meetings of Liberties Business Watch

10,000 Liberties visitor map and guides distributed to businesses and tourism centres high media profile in 2016 with national and local coverage

CULTURAL LIFE, TOURISM & A DESIGN DISTRICT Our ambition is to position The Liberties as Dublin’s ‘must-see’ area and to build on existing assets such as NCAD and the wealth of designrelated businesses to develop the city’s leading Design District. • Continued development of The Dubline Discovery Trail including new signage, interpretive panels, app guides and promotional banners - dubline . • 2016 was a bumper year for tourism in Dublin and The Liberties. 6 top visitor attractions located in Dublin 8 with almost 2.5m collective visits between them. • New Pearse Lyons Distillery & Visitor Centre opening Summer 2017 in a restored St James’s Church. The adjoining graveyard to open as a heritage feature. • ‘Summer in The Liberties’ programme of 9 walks and talks with over 250 participants in July and August. • The award-winning Liberties Festival held in July - Dublin’s longest running community arts festival. Liberties participation in Culture Night, Open House Dublin, Dublin Pride Festival. • Reopening of Rupert Guinness Theatre as seminar and conference venue for NCAD. 10-day Graduate Festival at NCAD in June . • New Francis Street ‘Art & Antiques Quarter’ brand and website launched • A diverse1916 Commemorative Programme in The Liberties actively promoted through .

ATTRACTING INVESTMENT & PROMOTION Over €1bn of public and private sector investment is now being made to renew and revitalise Dublin 8 • Liberties Business Forum has led active business promotion of the area that’s drawing-in new investment, new businesses and ideas. • Opening of Binary Hub student housing at Bonham Street in Summer 2016, ongoing construction of student housing at Newmarket and Thomas Street. There are now 2,500 student housing beds in planning or development in the area. • Commencement of restoration of St Luke’s Church and grounds (completion in 2017). • Commencement of work on the National Children’s Hospital at St James Hospital a €1bn investment with attendant community benefits and regeneration (opening 2020). Opening of new MISA at St James Hospital. Progress in the development of a Health Innovation District in proximity to the hospital. • A micro-business economy of 1,200 entrepreneurs, 190 companies, across 2 world class digital, media and small business hubs: Digital Hub and The GEC. • 4 major development sites in train on Thomas Street at close of 2016 included office refurbishments at Emmet House and Cornmarket.


We’re working together to make our streets more attractive and inviting and to draw new businesses and visitors to Dublin 8. • Completion of extensive repaving of Thomas Street and James Street, 58 heritage street lighting installed (for completion in spring 2017). This has been a €4m investment in the primary route through the area. • Major street greening plans implemented with new ‘green’ median on Nicholas Street, over 90 planters and troughs on High Street to James Street route and a focus on improving pocket parks and public space. • New Dubline interpretive panels installed. • Area-wide Shopfront Improvement Scheme supporting €130k of investment by property owners/retailers. • New restaurant and cafes at Cornmarket and Meath Street. • Restoration of iconic arch at Chadwick’s on Thomas Street. • Restoration of the historic stills in NCAD. Continued development of the NCAD Urban Farm. • New community allotments developed at St Thomas Abbey site, South Earl Street. • Floodlighting of City Walls at Cork Street. • Planters and a series of ‘street trials’ added to Francis Street. • Over 100 new cycle stands installed in the area creating quality cycle parking facilities. • Ongoing programme to upgrade and enhance public lighting.


Treasurer’s Statement The Liberties Business Forum Limited was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee having no share capital on 21st May 2015. The company changed its name to The Liberties Business Forum Company Limited By Guarantee (CLG) on 12th October 2016 in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2014. There have been no financial transactions to the benefit of or by The Liberties Business Forum CLG from 12st May 2015 to 30th June 2016 (being the Financial period of this Annual Report). An Annual Return in respect of the Company was made to the Companies Registration Office on 4th April 2017. Brendan McLoughlin & Co. were appointed auditors to the Company for the period of this report. Compliance with Lobbying Act 2015 Returns have been made with Register of Lobbying in accordance with the provisions of the Lobbying Act 2015.

Hon Treasurer: Anthony Joyce Principal, Anthony Joyce & Partners, Oliver Bond Street May 2017



The Liberties Dublin