Swords Cultural Quarter Update

When out canvassing for the local elections in 2014, a large number of residents in Swords complained about the dilapidated state of Swords Village and the Castle.
In my first meeting with The Chief Executive Mr Paul Reid following my election,  I conveyed to him the annoyance expressed to me about Swords Village. The Chief Executive acknowledged the issue and made a commitment to address the situation, at this meeting I also suggested that we could do with a theatre in Swords.
I am fairly confident we will have some form of artistic space in the new quarter and it will be a great asset to Swords.
All in all the future is looking bright for Swords and Fingal.
Swords Cultural Quarter Master-Plan:
In 2015 Fingal County Council developed an Architectural Masterplan for the Swords Castle quarter
as the next logical step in the vision for the emerging urban development of Swords. The masterplan
is a vision statement for the people of Swords allowing the Council to take advantage of existing
natural resources of their lands, infrastructure and heritage to create outstanding and sustainable
civic and cultural spaces and allow the historic heart of Swords develop as an attractive and vibrant
urban centre.
The Swords Castle Cultural Quarter Masterplan presents a roadmap for the regeneration of Swords
Castle and its environs, addressing the issue of regenerating the medieval centre as the cultural and
symbolic centre of Swords which is currently in a dilapidated state. The initiative is multi-layered
and includes issues such as identifying cultural uses for the castle, identifying opportunities for new
cultural buildings and environmental improvement.
Swords Castle lands and town centre are a place of cultural significance – the recent castle
excavations indicate a past rich in heritage and value. The actions contained in the Swords Castle
Cultural Quarter Masterplan will energise the potential of the existing town centre – focusing on the
castle environs as a new cultural hub. This area will instill and foster a sense of place and civic pride
and also act as a counterpoint to the shopping and business areas of the town. The
Overview of Projects in development:
A site for Swords Civic and Cultural Centre has been identified and work is progressing on developing
this project. Separate projects in the immediate area of Swords Castle were also identified which
will assist in the rejuvenation of Swords Town Centre and allow development of a vibrant cultural
quarter in the town mainly focused on the heritage attraction. Three key projects have been
grouped and included as part of an ERDF application from Fingal County Council :
Project A -Swords Castle Works
A number of alterations and upgrades to allow Swords Castle develop as an all year round venue
capable for planned event use, which will be more accessible as both a heritage tourist attraction
and public amenity. In summary these interventions include stabilisation works on the historic fabric
of the castle, removal of inappropriate buildings and improvements in landscaping, interpretation
and the tourist experience.
Project B – North Street Buildings & Heritage route
Redevelopment of derelict buildings and brownfield site which partially block access around the
Castle to provide public facilities including interpretation of the cultural significance of the Castle
area, tourism information and a vibrant events location with pedestrianised heritage route along
the East wall of the Castle.
Project C- Civic Quarter Public Realm and forecourt to County Hall
As part of the enhancement of the Cultural Quarter area, a public realm strategy will be developed
and implemented in front of the Swords Castle at the junction of Main Street / North Street
This involves an upgrade of the public realm finishes in areas immediately in the vicinity of the Castle
(Main street, North Street, Bridge Street) to unify public realm with an appropriate quality of
finishes, materials , signage, lighting and landscaping. This will also integrate with the proposed Civic
and Cultural Centre Development
The projects will be completed within the 3 year programme of the scheme with a combined cost
estimate of € 3million.
These ERDF submissions have been awarded grant funding of €1.47m.


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