ISIF to enter legal partnership with Council to provide funding for the site

Kilkenny County Council and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) are set to consider a collaborative partnership for the commencement of the development and regeneration of the former Smithwick’s Brewery site in Kilkenny City.

brewery site pic

Elected members at Monday’s Council meeting heard that the ISIF had written to the Council expressing an interest in principle to enter a legal partnership with the Council to provide funding for the site.  On foot of approaches from the local authority to explore the use of the recently established ISIF, the ISIF has now signalled its preparedness to consider a joint venture which will seek to bring commercial life and business back to the 14.5 acre derelict brewery site on a phased basis.

Kilkenny County Council agreed to purchase the site in 2012 following the closure of the famed brewery after 300 years of continuous operation.  The site is zoned for town centre/general uses which enable a range of town centre appropriate uses including amenity.  An Urban Design Framework is currently in preparation.
The Council envisages the prime city centre site will attract significant interest from educational, business, agri-tech, fin-tech and research and development sectors both at home and overseas.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which is managed and controlled by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), was established in December 2014 with a statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in the State.
Welcoming the news Council Chairman Pat Millea stated “This is a very exciting prospect for Kilkenny and is an opportunity that warrants our utmost consideration in the period ahead.  As a Council we must work together to ensure the sustainable redevelopment of the former brewery site and to create the environment and local infrastructure for much needed employment.  I regard the willingness of the ISIF to collaborate with Kilkenny County Council as a very encouraging first step and a major boost to investor and employer confidence in our city”.

Acting Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council, John Mulholland, acclaimed the approach and interest taken by the ISIF in supporting development in regional centres such as Kilkenny.  Mr Mulholland stated “the loss of so many jobs at the brewery site and the void caused by brewery closure was a real blow for Kilkenny.  The interest taken by ISIF gives great grounds for optimism and the potential of financial support for a sustainable redevelopment of the city centre is a really welcome development as the Council takes ownership of the site this summer.”