Friday, May 29, 2009

Smithfield Update

There is increasing concern in our community regarding the space at Smithfield Square as the space is becoming progressively more sterile as more and more businesses have closed down. I am seeking a partnership approach between all stakeholders, i.e. local business, residents and community groups, public representatives and the City Council, to bring about the revitalisation and regeneration of the Square.

I received the following reply from the City Manager in relation to this matter at the May City Council meeting. I will continue to look for the engagement of all stakeholders in this process:
Cllr E Costello: In view of the large number of business closures, to ask the Manager to establish a special task force for Smithfield to look at the reasons and to seek measures to regenerate the area and ensure that Smithfield can become the vibrant urban space it was intended to be.

The Smithfield area has experienced a number of business closures this year including the Park Inn and the Thomas Read pub. However there are also new businesses moving into units in the Space.

Dublin City Council applaud the recent initiative of the local business community in setting up The Smithfield Area Business Partnership to address these and other issues of concern to local business. Dublin City Council staff meet with them when requested to do so.
Dublin City Council set up a senior in-house steering group on Smithfield led by Michael Stubbs, Assistant City Manager to address the public realm issues in the area. An in-house design team, reporting to the steering group, is completing the design for the second phase of the Smithfield Plaza. These designs include the area south of the LUAS line and the major access routes to the Space. They also include provision of additional event infrastructure, new lighting, planting, street furniture and some child-friendly installations. The completion of the design will also allow the identification of facilities that can be provided by future planning permissions adjacent to the space.

While major capital expenditure on the space was deferred until 2012 there is some HARP Community Gain funding to provide some of these additional facilities in 2009/2010. The Events Unit facilitated the provision of over 80 days of events in 2008 and is presently inviting expressions of interest from event organisers for the organisation of events in 2009 and 2010 for all spaces in the city including Smithfield.

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