WATCH: New look campaign highlights history of strategic Limerick site

A NEW awareness project highlighting the rich history of the former Cleeve’s toffee factory has kicked in at its former site.

The site on the north bank of the River Shannon is set to be transformed in the coming years after Limerick Twenty Thirty bought the land, with the production of a masterplan for the 10-acre site in progress.

Ahead of a public consultation next year, an expert team appointed to deliver the vision has commenced the awareness element of the project – which is seeing installations of a series of information boards celebrating the history of the site.

These also detail the principles of the approach to the masterplan, existing site constraints, its place and connectivity within the city as well as exploring potential development options.

The site, which is divided into two sections that straddle both sides of the North Circular Road/O’Callaghan Strand, is zoned city centre commercial and will be a mixed-use development, with commercial, residential and a significant public realm element.

Limerick Twenty Thirty chief executive David Conway said: “It’s a really exciting time for Limerick Twenty Thirty. We’re advancing quickly on the demolition and enabling works the Opera site and will move on then in the New Year to the six-year construction programme for that. But we are also very much focussed on the Cleeve’s riverside quarter as well now, along with our other projects.”

He said Cleeve’s will extend the heart of Limerick across the river, adding: “We believe it will be a catalyst for further investment to follow so this is the start of something very significant for not just this side of the river but for Limerick as a whole.”

And Mr Conway confirmed the development of Cleeve’s will take seven years due to its size and the sensitivities around such a renowned area.

“This is a historic site and there are even constraints beyond that which we have to manage.  Before any development, of course, we have the planning process but before any of that, we have the development of the masterplan,” he explained, “That’s the beginning and absolutely essential we get it right. We have an expert team in place and, together with them, we are approaching the master-planning carefully and methodically.”

Mr Conway says the company will be respecting the special heritage of the Cleeves site in the industrial and even political development of Limerick and that’s reflected in the installations.

"We hope people will find the process informative and thought provoking and we look forward to bringing further information to the public in the New Year when we publish the proposed masterplan and open this up to the public for its opinion. It’s a special site and it’s a hugely exciting opportunity for Limerick,” the Limerick Twenty Thirty boss concluded.

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