Caroline Brady and Frank Cooney (Bailieborough team) reviewing the brief for Bailieborough.

Reimagining Bailieborough to give people more ‘choice’

BOOST Architect assigned to bring vision to life for town

Bailieborough is one of three towns in Ireland being reimagined under the Irish Architecture Foundation's Reimagine Hometown Architect initiative.

The east Cavan Town was selected for the project along with Mountrath in Co Laois and Moville in Co Donegal. The vision in Bailieborough is to redevelop a vacant town centre site to create a new street linking to the Main Street and a major local supermarket. Development funding of €10,000 is being provided, in addition to mentoring and practical support from the IAF's experienced placemaking team.

Hometown Architect is a key initiative of the IAF’s Reimagine placemaking programme. It supports collaborative projects between local architects and community stakeholders to explore possibilities to regenerate their town centres.

Bailieborough architect, Frank Cooney, whose firm has been appointed by Cavan County Council to design the project, told The Anglo-Celt this week that the plan envisions new linkages from the town’s carpark to main street and to the local Tesco store. He also highlighted how the new design will provide people with “choice” when it comes to driving, walking, cycling or pushing a buggy from Tesco carpark.

“We plan to talk to business people, older citizens, TY students and residents in the town about their ideas in terms of developing this project,” said Mr Cooney before adding that the input from a diverse range of people will enable the project to work for everyone.

“We can then identify how the project will be done; it’s a really good submission and the outcomes from this can be applied to other towns around the country.”

Meanwhile, Bailieborough’s latest project will start mid-April and is expected to be completed towards the end of the year or in the early days of 2025.

Announcing the successful projects last Thursday, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, Emmett Scanlon, said: “The three selected projects prove the innovative architectural imagination and strong local ambition that exists right across Ireland for communities to work together to harness the potential of their towns.

"Hometown Architect is one of several Irish Architecture Foundation programmes that seeks to build local capacity in towns, empowering communities and supporting architects to imagine and drive change. We in the IAF welcome the continued support of Government, whose Town Centre First Policy for improving, energising and transforming towns to make them better places to live, work and enjoy is at the heart of our Hometown Architect programme.”

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, was also on hand for the launch.

"The selected projects will set the scene for others attempting similar focus on reimagining their towns as vibrant hubs of activity, addressing vacancy and dereliction, and bringing new life and focus back to our town centres," she said.