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Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Investment Scheme to Transform Cities and Towns

Public art, light installations and performance spaces to transform cities and towns under Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Investment Scheme.

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland have announced the locations where projects of scale will be developed that will transform and re-imagine urban spaces. 

Following a competitive process, the pilot €5 million Urban Animation Capital Investment Scheme, which opened for applications in April, will fund urban animation projects in Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth, Waterford and Dublin. The stories, culture, history and heritage of these locations will be brought to life through a variety of large-scale outdoor performance spaces, public art and light installations.  

Announcing the projects, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. said, “the projects allocated funding through Fáilte Ireland’s Urban Animation Capital Investment Scheme will help re-invigorate these urban areas and increase their tourism appeal. This is important in attracting visitors to our towns and cities and increasing dwell time to support local tourism and hospitality businesses and jobs. It is also important to note that these projects will be sustainable and in line with environmental best practice. This funding announcement further strengthens this Government’s commitment to developing the regions as outlined in the ‘Our Rural Future’ plan.”    

Speaking at the announcement at Smithfield Square, Dublin 7, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Alison Gilliland said, “I am delighted that Fáilte Ireland will be supporting Dublin City Council’s plans for urban animation in Smithfield. I’ve seen the plans and they look amazing. Smithfield is a key public space on the Northside of the city. This funding will allow us to create a more playful, family friendly atmosphere in this space. The plans include colourful animals, shapes and a fully functioning carousel which will be visually beautiful and exciting to interact with.”

Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland added, “urban animation will play an increasingly important role in transforming and re-imagining our public spaces as safe, welcoming and vibrant places to visit. Our pilot Scheme will support Local Authorities to enhance urban areas and I want to thank Minister Martin for securing the €5 million funding. Seven exciting projects have been allocated funding and we look forward to working with the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and the Local Authorities in making these projects a reality before the end of summer 2022.”  


Cork City Council (€673,310) 

Five impactful public art works at locations across the city centre; the GPO, Exchange buildings, Carey’s Lane, Cook St. & Coal Quay and Cornmarket St., will create a trail highlighting Cork’s collective culture and heritage. 

Dublin City Council (€847,487) 

A flexible cultural hub at Smithfield Square will include a carousel, an outdoor gallery (including media screens to promote upcoming cultural events), an outdoor performance space and a multi-functional indoor space which can be used by creative organisations. 

Galway City Council (€1,030,834) 

A signature lighting installation at Woodquay Park featuring a hand carved steel sphere will reflect the stories and traditions of Galway alongside a traditional Galway Hooker and intimate performance space. 

Kilkenny County Council (€439,875) 

Installations at five locations across the city will reflect Kilkenny’s medieval heritage, culture and creativity including a Cartoon Saloon Mural at Watergate Performance Space, an upcycled Copper Tank at Brewhouse Square at the Abbey Quarter, a sculpture adjacent to Riverside Park, digital Culture Screens and lighting of the Butterslip and Market Slip to encourage visitors to the newly developed Market Square outdoor dining experience. 

Limerick City and County Council (€532,669) 

Newton’s Prism, a monumental rotating equilateral prism will be built at the junction of Lower Thomas St. and O’Connell St. 

Louth County Council (€672,208) 

Five landmark buildings and structures in Drogheda’s historic streetscape will be brought to life to tell the myths and legends associated with the River Boyne through lighting installations and street art: Barlow House, St. Peter’s Church, Millmount, St. Laurence’s Gate, Scotch Hall and The Boyne Viaduct. 

Waterford City and County Council (€539,275) 

City of Lights – 21 illumination installations across Waterford City will connect the City’s four zones: Viking Triangle, Cultural Quarter, Retail Spine and Apple Market. 

Source: Fáilte Ireland

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