Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative End of Year Report 2016

Page 1


The Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative is a 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 represents 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 - an initial three year collaboration to transform the business environment of Dublin 8. This End of Year Report sets out the achievements of the Business Area Improvement Initiative and the Forum during its third year, 2016.

Our ambition is to develop the commercial streets of The Liberties - Thomas Street & Cornmarket, James Street, High Street, Meath Street, Francis Street and Newmarket - as a highly attractive area within which to live, work, visit and invest.

PARTNERSHIP 2016 has been a turnaround year for The Liberties Dublin. There is a marked uplift in the area and some of the major projects, initiated over the past 3 years, are now bearing fruit. Across all streets in the area, renewal is noticeable. Thomas Street is finally getting a public realm to be proud off: the major repaving has been largely completed, the new heritage street lighting is almost there (with completion expected in spring 2017), the street has been ‘greened’, and there has been significant progress made to improve buildings and shopfronts this year. Most noticeable of all, at the end of the year, there are four major sites on the street involving renovation of previously vacant buildings. Most importantly, the work on Thomas Street has been undertaken to a clear vision: to highlight and protect the heritage and quality of one of Dublin's oldest streets, while making it an attractive place to visit in the contemporary city. Renewal is being felt in other streets too, most notably around Newmarket which is rapidly undergoing a dramatic transformation that will see it become one of Dublin’s most exciting urban areas in the coming years. New business is vital to this area. Its time to fill empty shops, draw in new day-time customers to the area and improve and encourage a diverse and sociable evening economy. The Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative works hard to promote Dublin 8 as a location of choice for new businesses, particularly independent retailing, micro businesses and tourism and food enterprises. However, The Liberties is first and foremost a neighbourhood - one of Dublin’s best. Many of the projects now in train work to improve quality of life in the area and make it more attractive for residents. New community allotments, Weaver Park, greening initiatives, a richer social life and the celebrations of the heritage of the area - these all contribute to the goal of making The Liberties Dublin’s most attractive, sustainable and culturally-rich neighbourhood - a village in the heart of the city centre. The following pages should give you a taster of the many achievements in the area by Dublin City Council and partner businesses and institutions over the past 12 months.

Stephen Coyne, Programme Manager

Liberties Business Forum: * THE LIBERTIES BUSINESS FORUM CLG BOARD Catherine Heaney *

DHR Communications


Bruce Phillips*

Dublin City Council South Central Area

Christian Hayden*

A4 Art, Thomas Street

Declan McGonagle*

National College Art & Design (Resigned April 2016)

Gerry Macken*

The Digital Hub Development Agency (Resigned November 2016)

Joanne Kearney

The Digital Hub Development Agency

Jack Roche*

Greengrocer, Meath Street

Nicholas Gore-Grimes*

Cross Gallery, Francis Street

Richard Hamilton*

Independent member

Anthony Joyce

Anthony Joyce Solicitors

Angela Smith*

Diageo Ireland

Jennifer Kennedy

Guinness Storehouse/ Independent member

Liam Reid

Diageo Ireland

Vincent Callan*

St James’s Hospital

Jack Teeling

Teelings Distillery & Visitor Centre

Bernard Hanratty

National College of Art & Design

Peter Finnegan

Dublin City Council South Central Area

Celine Weldon

Guinness Storehouse

Fiach MacConghail

The Digital Hub Development Agency

(Company Secretary)

Representative to South Central Joint Policing Committee/ Business Watch Aoife Carragher

Reilly’s Pharmacy, Cornmarket

Executive Stephen Coyne

Programme Manager

Michael Barry

Marketing & Promotions Officer (to April 2016)


To contribute to the ongoing improvement of commercial and social life in The Liberties through practical measures and actions over an initial period of three years.

6 meetings of The Liberties Business Forum in 2016.

12 Monthly e-newsletters and bulletins issued to over

400 businesses and community.

40k visits to The Liberties Dublin website 70% from Dublin.

11k social media followers across 3 platforms Trending #LoveTheLiberties and

#Better4BusinessD8 Ongoing process of engagement with building owners and existing and new business interests to

encourage and draw investment to the area.

3 meetings of Liberties Business Watch 10,000 visitor maps & guides distributed

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Continued development of The Dubline Discovery Trail

including new signage, interpretive panels, app guides and promotional banners  6 top visitor attractions with almost 2.5m collective visits

between them. 2016 was a bumper year for tourism in Dublin and The Liberties  New Pearse Lyons Distillery & Visitor Centre opening

spring 2017 in restored St James’s Church  10,000 Liberties and Kilmainham map and guides printed

and distributed to businesses, hotels and tourist offices  ‘Summer in The Liberties’ programme of 9 walks and talks

with over 250 participants  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  1916 Commemorative Programme in The Liberties

promoted through

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Position The Liberties as one of Dublin’s ‘must-see’ areas

 Continue to develop a tourism strategy for The Liberties

2. Provide more places to stay 3. Expand the range of things to do in the area and encouraging visitors to explore The Liberties

that is focused on improved connections between key attractions in the area; support for new attractions and experiences; and improve visitor information  Continue to support the Liberties Festival. Encourage

businesses to participate in and add to the festival  Continue to encourage 'local-based' historic walks of the

area and develop new content and visitor information on

4. Ensure that the footfall to the major attractions benefits the commercial streets and wider area

 Help to publicise and develop the NCAD Graduate and

5. Develop a greater outreach for NCAD and creatives in the area to generate new business activity

 Facilitate new gallery spaces and craft shops in The

CEAD Festivals and explore possibilities for businesses to engage with festivals  Promote The Liberties as a location for hotels and support

hotel and accommodation development Liberties  Improve visitor wayfinding signage and interpretative


Some of the year’s highlights:


 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, ongoing construction of student housing at Newmarket and Thomas Street  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 €750m investment with attendant community benefits and regeneration (opening 2020). Opening of new MISA at St James Hospital  High media profile in 2016 with national and local

coverage  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  Area-wide Shopfront Improvement Scheme supporting

€130k of investment by property owners/retailers  New restaurant and cafes at Cornmarket and Meath


Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Develop an environment that is conducive and supportive of business

 Host a Liberties Investment Summit in 2017

2. Build the local business network 3. Engage with Enterprise Ireland, IDA and agencies to bring further employment and investment to the area 4. Increasing the number of restaurants and cafes and creating a more vibrant evening economy 5. Retain businesses in this area and facilitate ‘scaling-up’ from small to medium

 Develop a new Retail Prospectus for The Liberties  Update existing promotional material and develop a

video promo  Liberties Business Forum will develop a

communications and advocacy strategy that actively targets EI & IDA and supports FDI investment in The Liberties  Work with Dublin City LEO to open completed but

unused premises in developments to new businesses and SMEs  Explore with NCAD the potential to develop a craft fare

or pop-up design shop as part of future Graduate Weeks. Assist with greater promotion of Graduate Week as the basis for a ‘design district’  Support craft food and drink producers in Newmarket

area  Encourage greater number of restaurants and eateries in

The Liberties

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Completion of extensive repaving of Thomas Street,

James Street, 58 heritage street lighting installed (for completion in spring 2017)  Major street greening plan implemented with new ‘green’

median on Nicholas Street, over 90 planters and troughs on High Street to James Street route  New Dubline interpretive panels installed  16 projects supported by DCC Shopfront Improvement

Scheme - major improvements to key buildings along Thomas Street  Restoration of historic arch at Chadwick’s Builders  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  4 major sites in train at close of 2016 included office

refurbishments at Emmet House and Cornmarket  Floodlighting of City Walls at Cork Street

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Thomas Street is the primary street of the area but requires investment in buildings along the route and public realm

 Continue a programme of building/ shopfront

2. There is a significant degree of dereliction and vacancy on the street 3. Businesses have concerns around coordination of services on the street 4. There is a need to attract fresh business ideas to the street 5. There is a limited evening economy on the street and in particular, limited options to eat in the area after 7pm

improvements on Thomas Street and make available a third year of incentives. Engage more building owners to come on board and focus on upper floors  Raise the standard of cleanliness of Thomas Street and

provide new Belly Bins  Seek improvement measures to side streets and lanes off

Thomas Street. Can these be more positively used?  Support Digital Hub and Diageo plans to develop their

estates and encourage creative uses of older buildings  Encourage cafes to improve their terrace areas  Major restoration of the former ‘Frawleys’ terrace over

2017 - new student housing and retail opening in summer 2018  Greening of Patrick Street and High Street medians  Refurbishment of St Audoen’s Park (completion in 2017)

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Commencement of enabling work on new National

Children’s Hospital at St James’s (due for completion in 2019). An additional development programme underway at St James Hospital  Restoration of former St James’s Church completed.

Pearse Lyons Distillery and visitor centre opening in Spring 2017  New Open Gate Brewery at St James’s Gate  Noticeable increase in new business on James Street

in second half of 2016  NCAD Postgrad & Research Annex settling in on

James Street. The Rupert Guinness Theatre brought back into use  Restoration programme of historic Echlin Street

Buildings commenced

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Develop an environment that is conducive and supportive of business

 Public realm improvement programme for Crane

2. Create more lively frontages along James Street and make use of vacant Diageo buildings 3. Improve sentiment among business and local residents at the Fountain area and attract new uses to the area to fill vacant shops and sites 4. Draw the Hospital closer to the street and support the development of a regeneration area based on National Children’s Hospital

Street, Sugar House Lane and School Street to commence in spring 2017.  Develop a marketing campaign to create awareness

of Liberties businesses relevant to staff and visitors of St. James’s Hospital - ‘Your Street‘  Additional wayfinding signage to be installed  New signage and branding to be provided around the

Guinness Storehouse  Improve the public space at the Fountain  Consider ways to ‘green’ and improve the Echlin

Street approach to Guinness Storehouse  Seek shopfront improvements in James Street

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Revamped ‘Art & Antiques Quarter’ brand and website

launched  Tree planters installed along the street  A street of ‘beta projects’: Parklet at No 59, Cycle Rack at

Thomas Davis Street and BIMM - new permanent cycle parking installed at Thomas Davis Street and close to Thomas Street  External upgrading of ESB facility  New businesses welcomed! Badger & Dodo, Two Pups and

the No 74 Collective, Goosebump and RAI, Cuckoo Events  Shopfront refurbishments supported under DCC

Shopfront Improvement Scheme  Successful participation by galleries and businesses in

Culture Night, Dublin Gallery Weekend and Parking Day  New hotel development proposed for site on The Coombe  Conservation work St Nicholas de Myra Church

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Developing an environment that is conducive and supportive of business and residential life

 Proposed Francis Street public realm improvement

2. Promoting the Art & Antiques Quarter 3. Drawing greater footfall to Francis Street from Thomas Street 4. Addressing a number of vacant sites on the street, most particularly the former Iveagh Market

5. Improving the quality of the public realm

project to advance to Part 8 planning in spring 2017  Continue to target vacant units/ derelict sites and work

with their owners to match potential tenants (noting recent sale of ‘problem sites’ along the street)  Improved wayfinding signage to the street  Current planning permission for the Iveagh Markets and

site expires in summer 2017  New cycle parking facilities to be installed at Dean Street,

Mark’s Alley West, Carman’s Hall

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Refurbishment and floodlighting of The Coombe

Hospital portico and Gray Street memorial  Shopfront Improvement Scheme in place for Meath

Street - progressing 2 projects  New businesses welcomed! Sadly lost some well-

known businesses also. However generally there is a low level of vacancy on Meath Street

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Develop an environment that is conducive and supportive of small and informal business

 Consider ways to improve profile of Meath Street

2. Promote market life on Meath Street

 Encourage further take-up of the shopfront

3. Draw greater footfall to Meath Street from Thomas Street 4. Address the quality of shopfronts on the street 5. Improve the quality of the public realm and regularise stalls and on-street trading

Market. Provide new wayfinder signage to Meath Street. Consider banners to streetlamps and promotional measures improvement grant on Meath Street and encourage investment in buildings  Contribute to a longer term public realm vision for

Meath Street  Consider new cultural arts uses for vacant units at

The Coombe  Explore potential to floodlight St Catherine's Church

and improve visitor signage in its vicinity

Some of the year’s highlights:


 Teelings Irish Whiskey Distillery welcomes over

60,000 visitors in its first full year in operation  Weaver Park approved and construction commenced,

expected to open in Summer 2017  Major student housing, hotel and nursing home

developments ongoing on Mill Street. Restoration of historic 10 Mill Street  ‘The Dublin Liberties’ whiskey brands establish at Mill

Street  Commencement of restoration of former St Luke’s

Church, conversion to new office development, public park and gardens  Design process for Newmarket undertaken and

expected to advance to Part 8 planning in Spring 2017  Christmas Tree provided by Teelings Distillery  Craft food and drink markets held  New businesses establishing on Cork Street

Key Challenges:

Looking to the future:

1. Transition the area from light industrial and vacant spaces to new uses such as housing, quality retail and market spaces and small businesses

 Improve recognition of Newmarket as a city

2. Cork Street represents a traffic barrier, separating the area from The Liberties 3. Poor quality public realm 4. St Luke’s Church is a significant historic asset but is derelict and inaccessible

destination  Additional visitor signage and wayfinding  Dublin City Council proposed Newmarket public

realm improvement plan to be advanced in 2017  New Mill student housing expected to open in

Summer 2017  Seek new Dublinbikes stations at Newmarket and

Cork Street  Refurbished St Luke’s Church expected to complete

in late 2017


The Liberties Dublin

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.