LISDOONVARNA will be reconnected to its deep heritage of wellbeing in a new community-led vision which is to be unveiled on Tuesday.
Nine shared ambitions are contained in ‘Tapping the Well’ along with one key recommendation to progress development in Lisdoonvarna. The launch takes place on Tuesday (November 14th) at 7:30pm in The Pavilion Hall in Lisdoonvarna.
World-renowned architect Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, herself a Lisdoonvarna native was part of the team to facilitate the project along with designers and architects ACT Studio, local social enterprise Common Knowledge, Lisdoonvarna Failte. It was a ‘hometown architect’ project supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation as part of their Reimagine programme.
Across the summer, more than 150 local people participated in this community project aimed at creating a vision for the future of Lisdoonvarna rooted in its heritage of wellbeing, inviting lifelong residents, key stakeholders and new communities to contribute.
Acting Director of Services in the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council, Jason Murphy noted that a key aspect of the Town Centre First policy is for local communities, residents and business to have the opportunity to reimagine and shape the future of their town and villages. “Community engagement is critical in this process, bringing community groups and stakeholders together to make their area a better place to live, work and visit. The Reimagine Lisdoonvarna project, builds on the recent heritage plan completed by Clare County Council, and offers the community of Lisdoonvarna the scope to set a clear vision for the long term development of their town”.
Keelan McMahon, a director with Lisdoonvarna Failte CLG stated, “The vision aims to preserve the town’s heritage while involving younger people, like myself, in shaping its future. By giving young people a voice in the development of the community, we hope to generate solutions that are beneficial for all. This vision is an essential step in ensuring the town’s vibrancy and long-term sustainability as a place to live, work and visit”.
Speaking in advance of the launch, Shelley McNamara, commented, “As well as the life-giving waters that run beneath the town, the well of community spirit, love for the land and passion for culture run deep in Lisdoonvarna. Our hope is that this vision, which includes the deeply held wish to restore the Spa Well as a resource for the community and visitors alike, to enrich the town square and to foster the social heart Lisdoonvarna is known for, will support the town to move forward”.
Fionn Kidney, co-founder of local social enterprise Common Knowledge added “The process has revealed the most commonly-held ambitions by the Lisdoonvarna community. Rather than a detailed plan that could end up gathering dust on a shelf, this vision signposts the key ingredients of a future of wellbeing for the town, and recommends the establishment of a ‘Town Team’ to start stewarding this vision to reality. As a local social enterprise that shares practical skills like building, making, mending and growing, we’re looking forward to finding ways to support the community on this path”.
Kevin Loftus of ACT Studio, key researchers, designers and facilitators of the project added, “This vision presents the opportunity for Lisdoonvarna to once again flourish with the stewardship of the local community, who have been hugely generous in their time for this project. We are excited to share the findings, which will take the form of an illustrated map of the town with a short accompanying statement of the ambitions carried within vision. The outputs of the vision are designed to inform a town masterplan that can accelerate key improvements in the built environment of Lisdoonvarna”.