herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Ambitious plan revealed for revamp of community centre

An artist’s impression of the revamped Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre
An artist’s impression of the revamped Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre

An ambitious plan for the Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre (RICC) will see the facility transformed into a "centre of excellence".

The multi-million euro ­refurbishment will see a ­number of additions to the Dublin 4 ­centre, including a boxing ­facility and a theatre space.

Proposals to revamp the ­centre were unveiled recently and the development board of the centre will begin seeking funding early in 2016.

Entrepreneurs

The plans also include a museum that will document the history of Ringsend and the dockers.

There will also be a catering and recreation space for older people in the new facility.

In addition, a sea safari will also be established from the centre and will create jobs.

Local entrepreneurs will also be able to apply for space in dedicated start-up hubs.

A number of new services will be able to move into the centre once the build is complete and services such as the community creche will benefit from an upgrade.

Centre manager Lorraine Barry told the Herald that there were "exciting times" ahead for the community centre which has long been at the heart of the Ringsend and Irishtown communities.

Previous plans to develop the community centre were shelved due to the recession.

All users of the centre were asked to give their input into the new design and potential new facilities to be added to the centre as the plan was being drafted.

"We were very conscious to make sure it was sustainable and there are a number of agencies who have been looking for their own accommodation, so we have the space and they came in with the expertise," Ms Barry said.

"We're not duplicating any services in the area, but we are providing a home for services that don't have one."

Former Olympic boxer Michael Carruth has shown his support for the development of a boxing facility.

"He's the Dublin City Council south east area development officer, so he's been linking up with young people in the area, but he's been bringing them up to Crumlin or other areas. So it's fabulous because he covers the area and he's helping us to develop it," Ms Barry said.

The RICC already owns the land where the development will take place.

"The key thing that people like about this is that it belongs to the people of Irishtown and Ringsend and the investment goes right back into the community and will remain there," she added.

Surrounded

"This area should really be a stop like Howth or Dun Laoghaire because we are surrounded by water."

The impressive plans show a complex that will reach five storeys in some places facing onto the waterfront.

Studio Red Architects were commissioned by the RICC to design the building.

Local councillor Chris Andrews welcomed the plans.

"It's great to see Ringsend and Irishtown being ambitious and aspiring for something so positive. It will be a long road to finish this project, but it is very achievable and will have a hugely positive impact on the local community," he said.

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