Plans to turn Cork’s iconic Butter Exchange into a job creation hub


The historic Butter Exchange building on the north side of Cork, which has been vacant for over a decade, is on line for a new lease of life as a hub for job creation.

It follows a decision by city councilors to accept the lease of the iconic building in the shadow of the Shandon bell tower to a group that is considering redeveloping it into a business center.

But the group, Recreate Shandon Ltd CLG, led by Sean O’Sullivan, the founder of the Seabrook Technology Group, must secure funding and a building permit before its building vision can be realized.

City council chief strategic and economic development Fearghal Reidy told councilors the town hall will work with and support the group on a funding request from Enterprise Ireland.

Planning request imminent

An urban planning request for the project should be filed with the city council before the end of the year.

Advisors have learned that talks have been underway for some time on the proposed enterprise center project, but more work is needed to bring the vision to life.

The council’s chief corporate officer, Paul Moynihan, told the meeting that the plan for the building has been discussed with members of the Shandon Area Renewal Association, who are in favor of the proposal.

Councilors then agreed to assign the lease of the building to Recreate Shandon Limited CLG, c / o Whelan Solicitors, Grattan Court, Washington St West, Cork, by way of lease, for a term of 25 years, subject to rent. nominal € 1 per year.

Historic shopping center

The striking Shandon Street building was developed by a group of merchants in 1769 on the site of a thriving open-air butter market that had operated in the area since the 1730s.

It became an important commercial center for the city in the 18th and 19th centuries, exporting butter to four continents.

It was considered the most important supplier of butter to Great Britain and Ireland and it also supplied the British naval garrisons stationed in Cork.

At its commercial peak in the 1880s, it handled 500,000 barrels a year worth £ 1.5million.

But the butter trade began to decline at the end of the 19th century due to competition from European butter producers and the unable to compete Shandon butter market closed in 1924.

It was later converted into a hat factory, but was destroyed by fire in 1976.

The old Cork Corporation bought the abandoned premises in 1980 and, with support from IDA, developed it as a museum and craft center.

The craft center section of the building closed in 2008 and despite many attempts to find alternative uses, including the development of a food and music themed tourist attraction, it has remained closed.

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