On July 26th Anna Mulcahy, chair of the Municipal Hall Revival Group, Alan Clayton of Future Kinsale, and Fiona McGeown also from the Hall Revival Group, presented a draft proposal of how we believe the Municipal Hall could be revived as a sustainable community venture, providing iconic space for arts, performances, co-working space for local startup enterprises, and more. Next step is a feasibility study and financial plan – into which YOUR comments, suggestions, contributions are welcome – speak now, as they say !! email@example.com
Could Kinsale learn from the experience of Caernarvon in Wales ? A small seaside town with empty public spaces and buildings – ring a bell ? Future Kinsale would love to know what you think of this project – including community performance/presentation space, small business facilities, top quality cafe, program of courses and events. And it all pays for itself supported by a local coop ! What do you think ? What would you like to see in the Municipal Hall ?
Good news, there is already a dedicated group of residents working to turn such a vision into reality, but it’s a ‘participation sport’ where everyone who wants to benefit, can.
There has been talk of a ‘business hub’ in Kinsale for a few years now. And we know from the recent survey that demand is growing, from residents in the town working for a large company remotely, or running a micro enterprise that doesn’t require a full time office, or starting a brand new venture when you can’t afford an office, or for many other reasons, so we thought we’d show you a few to whet your appetite !
There was also an article in the Indo recently that surveyed some of the best in Ireland.
One of Dublin’s best (pictured above) is the Dogpatch Labs hub in the Docklands run by a Kinsale resident !!
I went to look at few in London this week, which are well beyond what we will start with here, but hey !.. you have to have a vision right ?
Closer to home my own office is a shared space in the Republic of Work hub in South Mall, Cork (above). Bank Of Ireland in Patrick St, Cork has it’s Workbench hub, and Glandore just opened up in Cork City Centre. Why not go visit these places and tell us what you think.
I always find it inspiring to see communities who have nothing behave like they everything, while those of us who have everything behave like we have nothing. And I know that’s an exaggeration, but look at this – a car free day in Addis Ababa. Wouldn’t it be great if St Patricks Day was a car free day in Kinsale or May Bank Holiday Monday ? Or what about a $4,000 fine for dumping a plastic bag in Kenya !! Nobody here would agree to that right ? And what about delivering prescriptions (and people,) instead of driving into town in the car as they do here in Kigali, Rwanda . And this latter startup is part funded by an irish investor. Really the world (kinsale for us) is our oyster, if we keep it cleaner than it is right now
If you’re reading this, chances are you care about the town of Kinsale and probably have some questions about what it will be like to live here in 2030 if we don’t fix the traffic, find a use (and a sugar daddy) for the decaying Town Hall,, and make it possible for staff in local businesses to afford to live in their own town !
In the last 20+ years I’ve come to believe that Kinsale is not just the gourmet capital, and home of a mad number of Young Scientist award winners, but that we have in our midst, both the people and the resources to create a thriving and sustainable Future Kinsale that the kids will be proud of.
Never has it been easier to start a business, or raise funding for all manner of projects, or get connected, and yet we have done little (OK nothing !) to tackle climate change, the wealth divide, or just the local traffic and waste pollution.
From the birth of the Transition Towns movement in our own back yard, to Strong Towns in the US, to Kinsale scale cooperatives in small welsh towns, and the growth of technology coops in UK, we are surrounded by opportunity
Earlier this year Forbes published one of several articles explaining how the ‘sharing economy’ has only just got going, and how, as communities, we could all gain so much from looking after ourselves and our resources in new and very different ways.
It doesn’t take a young scientist to know there are enough cars owned by Kinsale residents to take you anywhere at any time – but they’re just mostly lying idle in driveways and car parks. We have unused public buildings and spaces, and a bunch of great ideas for their use, but the entrepreneurs, the creators, and the financial experts, aren’t able to come together. We live surrounded by the most perfect land for growing healthy food, but we still buy cheap white bread baked 100 miles away and water in plastic bottles !
So, what if we set up a cooperative that could take ownership of, and manage public assets like the Town Hall, or even the “SuperValu’ car park, for the benefit of the community ? A cooperative where membership is open to all residents. A cooperative where the aim is to be a thriving healthy community, and to share the amazing resources we have – people, money, land, buildings etc – for the benefit of all.
There is a statue in our town of Peter Barry. Arguably the last person to dare to dream about a great future for his Kinsale. And we’ve been benefiting from his legacy for the last 30+ years. Now we probably need to renew the vision for a Future Kinsale, and one which goes beyond just being a ‘gourmet capital’.
So come and join us 6pm Jan 25th 2019 Trident Hotel, and be part of the conversation. We don’t have a town council any more, but we can have a “Town Hall” meeting