Members of Youghal Chamber of Tourism and Commerce made a representation to the East Cork Municipality on Monday (3 November).
The group hope to develop an arts quarter in Youghal from the area of the Devonshire arms to the Clock Tower located on South Main, Street.
The new artist’s quarter will form an integral part of the redevelopment of the heritage town.
Chamber Vice President Nick Ryan told the councillors “we believe this presents a remarkable opportunity to build on the architectural character of the street by creating a vibrant tourist attraction for the town. The diversity of building uses on the street should be encouraged provided that they meet with the criteria developed under a master plan for the quarter. The potential for small artist occupied studios where tourists can meet the artists in their work shop and experience their works of art, the skill of the crafts persons or try their hand at the potter’s wheel. Youghal is mainly promoted as a heritage town and is one of the best preserved in Europe, however we need more to occupy tourists when they come to town and we certainly need to do more to improve first impressions when they come up Main Street”
If developed the artist’s quarter would provide support to the areas senior artists and respond to the critical need in Youghal’s arts and cultural community.
This latest proposal comes on the back of the rally quarter which has been a resounding success for the area.
The delegation to the Municipality “the provision of parking could be provided at the old site of the Regal cinema. We believe tourism and tourism based business will play a major part in the regeneration of Youghal. Public /private partnership is the best way to move this forward. We understand a project of this magnitude requires substantial public and private funding.”
Councillor Aaron O’Sullivan told the delegation “I agree with the sentiments of maximising our heritage offering. We need to showcase what we have and make it better.”
Councillor Mary Linehan-Foley added “I would like to wish you well. You are a new chamber. You are also very pro-active. I would also suggest that maybe a member of the chamber joins the Heritage committee which is very active, that’s where the funding is coming from. I will work 100% any way I can. “
Councillor Michael Hegarty endorsed the sentiments of his colleges when he said “the arts quarter is critical, Youghal has a lot to offer, but it has been neglected over the years. It’s so important Youghal gets its due recognition.”
Municipal chairman councillor Noel Collins ended by saying “any help this committee can give will be forthcoming.”