1.2 million euros allocated to the new Digital & Enterprise Hub in Nenagh

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THE Rialto Digital & Enterprise Hub, Nenagh has been allocated a sum of 1.2 million euros, which will see the transformation of a former cinema in the city. It is one of the projects for which Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF) funding was announced last Thursday by Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys TD.
Financing under Category 2 of the Rural Regeneration Development Fund will allow the project to progress in design and planning and reach the point where a request for Category 1 financing can be made to carry out the works.
The main objective of allocations under this fund is the rejuvenation of city centers, economic growth and footfall, the fight against abandonment and the stimulation of tourism in rural Ireland.
The former Rialto Cinema, which is a protected structure, was acquired by Tipperary County Council in December 2020. The “Rialto Digital and Enterprise Hub” project is an example of a sustainable downtown regeneration project that is taking place. will engage in the creation of places and revitalize the city center of Nenagh through the provision of much needed business incubator space, improvement of the public domain and the redevelopment of a brownfield in the back- plan through planning the delivery of downtown homes.
A master plan will chart the enduring re-imagining of the iconic 1940s cinema building into a modern digital hub and enterprise facility using best practices and appropriate modern architectural intervention to provide excellent office, collaboration and meeting. The associated brownfield will be planned to explore the potential for additional digital and corporate office space, the creation of a new streetscape along Emmet Place, the potential provision of residential units in the city center and the delivery of a new heart of public equipment in the city center.
The total cost of this phase of the project is € 1,511,059, of which € 1,208,847 will come from the RRDF.
The Nenagh RRDF application was submitted by Tipperary County Council in partnership with the Nenagh & District Chamber of Commerce, the North Tipperary Development Company and the local business office.
Welcoming the announcement of the funding, Cllr Michael O ‘Meara, Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Nenagh, said that “this project will become a fourth pillar in the proposals for the historic and cultural district of Nenagh and will complement the substantial investment in the public domain and the infrastructure of the city. The proposals will be transformational for the city center while ensuring the maintenance of the heritage architecture of the old Rialto and the return to service of a vacant iconic building. With the evolution of working practices, there is a growing demand for coworking and smarter workspaces. The Rialto is an ideal location for this purpose and will generate significant footfall which will benefit local businesses while facilitating local business ”.
The ‘Nenagh Workspace Study’, commissioned by the Municipal District of Nenagh in 2018, highlighted the lack of co-working, incubation, and remote working space in and around Nenagh. hinterland and identified it as a significant inhibitor of economic growth in Nenagh and the region.
Nenagh Municipal District Services Director Marcus O’Connor said the project would make a significant contribution to Nenagh and the district in terms of employment, facilitating jobs both directly and indirectly. “The takeover of the Rialto by Tipperary County Council made it possible to develop this project. The funding announcement will allow us to move forward with the project which has the potential to generate a continued return to the local economy as well as prevent abandonment in an important downtown location ”.
The next steps will be the acquisition of a team of consultants to advance the completion of the detailed design and planning process for Part 8.
Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearn welcomed the announcement.
Senator Garret Ahearn said: “The hub will replace a disused cinema in the city and the plans will also see the redevelopment of a brownfield site behind the hub, a new streetscape and explore the potential provision of downtown housing and a new amenity. “
The plans have a strong focus on tackling abandonment, increasing the vibrancy of towns and villages and bringing people back to rural Ireland. This investment of several million euros aims to carry out ambitious regeneration and economic development projects.
Funding is invested in projects that rejuvenate city centers, boost economic growth and attendance, tackle crime, develop pedestrian areas and outdoor spaces, and boost tourism in rural Ireland.
Funding requests went through a comprehensive evaluation process by the Ministry, overseen by an independent project advisory committee, made up of representatives from key government ministries as well as independent external experts.
Senator Ahearn said: “I would like to salute the excellent work of County Tipperary Council Director General Joe MacGrath and Nenagh District Director Marcus O’Connor for making the request and Councilor Ger Darcy for making the request. pushing this project politically with Minister Humphreys and other ministers every time they visited Nenagh or Tipperary.
“It will be a positive addition to Nenagh with the announcement last March of more than 9 million euros for the city under the Development Fund for Urban Regeneration. This is yet another example of a government recognizing the role important that rural cities can play to support individuals and families who want to live and work in communities outside of major urban cities, ”concluded Senator Ahearn.
The news was also greeted by MP Michael Lowry. “These funds will allow the projects to pass the development phase and be ready to start work,” he said.
The Nenagh development is one of 27 iconic regeneration projects nationwide worth € 21.5 million that will see former schools, cinemas, courthouses and vacant buildings transformed into centers for remote work, creation studios, reception centers, museums, libraries, businesses, heritage and community spaces.

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