Shannon Town Centre Masterplan
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The Shannon Town Centre Masterplan is funded by Project Ireland 2040. It sets out an agreed overall vision, development and delivery strategy and most significantly, a commitment by Clare County Council for the proper planning and sustainable development of Shannon Town Centre. It proposes a multi-dimensional approach to the further development and enhancement of Shannon Town Centre through proposals for retail, commercial, residential and civic amenities.
The strategy for this masterplan is evidence based. The proposed key interventions have been developed by a multidisciplinary integrated approach bringing together the development of places, transport planning, urban design, mixed use architecture and landscape design. Most significantly, it has been informed by a high-level economic viability assessment. Extensive public consultation was undertaken with the local community, many stakeholders and the Elected Members of Shannon Municipal District at various stages of the plan development process, and the feedback received was a valuable resource in informing and shaping the aims, objectives and principles of the masterplan strategy.
A high-level strategic objective of Clare County Council is to have a plan in place that will enable the local authority to leverage a range of funding opportunities at EU and national level, e.g. Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The masterplan therefore aligns with national government policies; Project Ireland 2040 The National Planning Framework, the National Development Plan 2021-2030 and the recently announced Town Centre First Policy, in terms of its key proposals set out for delivery.
Among the proposals set out in the Masterplan is the creation of an Innovation Campus in the town centre, the creation of a new Main Street and an improved Town Square, and the development of a ‘One Shannon Hub’ which will have multiple daytime and night-time uses including new local authority offices, a community theatre space, and an enhanced public realm. The Masterplan also makes provision for a range of high-quality urban town centre living areas, enhancement of connections to the estuary and preservation and enhancement of the amenity of the Town Park, as well as an implementation roadmap for the delivery of the plan.
The creation of an Innovation Campus in the town centre is a unique proposition for any town centre creating the potential for 1,000 employees and 1,500 students providing vitality and life with activity during the day and evenings. Having a large quantity of students and future workers within the town centre Innovation Campus will be a huge boost for supporting the social, educational and economic development of Shannon Town.
It is envisaged that the improved Main Street will be an innovative take on the traditional main street of Irish towns and will contribute to a sense of place for Shannon. It is proposed to improve and make the existing R471 road passing through Shannon Town Centre more pedestrian friendly while also continuing to provide for car and bus routes.
The enhanced Shannon Town Square will underpin a new identity for the town centre as a focal point for the community and will expand on the existing square with its Adoration Chapel and will be fronted by the proposed One Shannon Hub.
One Shannon Hub will be a multi-purpose civic, theatre and community space with multiple uses to ensure activity throughout the day and night. It is proposed to create a civic building which will combine as a new Clare County Council town hall, a performing arts venue, and a flexible working and innovation space. This three-in-one approach will merge community, cultural and civic uses, with Council offices relocated to the heart of the town reinforcing the commitment by the local authority for a town centre presence.
Taken together with the proposed Innovation Campus in the town centre, these projects will provide a significant opportunity to create a vibrant Shannon Town Centre.