Deliver Large Conservation Projects as Stimulants to Local Regeneration

Southgate Associates were appointed Conservation Engineer/Project Manager by the OPW on a 2 year, 5.4 million euro multi-phase conservation project at Elizabeth Fort in Cork City Centre. The project involved the sensitive conservation of the 17th Century Star Fort in the South Parish District. The Fort had become a dangerous structure due to extensive vegetation growth, and the company was called in when a 1.5 tonne piece of rock fell off the fort, crashing through the roof of a residential house below.

Given Southgate Associates expertise in stabilising dangerous structures, we were given the job to supervise the project, which involved converting a dangerous structure into a tourism and recreation resource in the centre of Cork City.

Techniques and strategy were approved by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and the project is generally accepted as a best practice case study of the conservation and reclamation of a ruin. The project has been handed over by the Office of Public Works to Cork City Council for use as a critical heritage resource, which can lead regeneration efforts in the urban district.

Elizabeth Fort is at the heart of a special regeneration zone in the city, which along with other inner-city areas is benefitting from a tax relief scheme called the ‘Living in the City’ Initiative. This initiative helps to encourage individuals to invest into the heritage-rich central areas of the city.