The results of the public consultation on the future use of a former heritage centre in Bray were announced at the May Bray Municipal District council meeting. The consultation, proposed by Councillor Rory O’Connor, aimed to gather valuable insights and ideas from the public regarding the building’s potential.
The initiative received an overwhelming response from the community, with a total of 149 submissions received through various channels, including the consultation hub, email, and physical letters. The diverse range of suggestions reflects the community’s enthusiasm and commitment to repurposing this historic landmark.
An initial scan of the submissions revealed a multitude of exciting possibilities for the building’s future use. Some of the prominent suggestions include a community space, cultural and arts activities, a social enterprise hub, a youth space, a bridge club center, a history museum, a remote working hub, a homeless hub, a tourist office, a restaurant, and an exhibition space. These ideas highlight the breadth of opportunities that lie ahead for this iconic structure.
To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the community’s preferences, a detailed analysis of the submissions will be undertaken. The feedback received from the public will be carefully examined, allowing for a thorough evaluation of each proposed use.
Looking towards the future, the next crucial step will be securing the necessary funding to undertake the renovation of the building. The Bray Municipal District Staff, in close collaboration with the Town Regeneration Officer, will diligently work towards preparing a robust application for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). The aim is to have a shovel-ready project, complete with designs and costings, in anticipation of the funding call expected later this year.
Councillor Rory O’Connor expressed his gratitude to the community for their active participation in shaping the future of the former heritage building. He stated, “I would like to say a massive thank you to the members of the community for putting forward their ideas and taking time out of their day to do it. It’s amazing to hear such a range of ideas from the community and shows genuine interest in doing something with this building. I think as a council, we need to consider the feasibility and suitability of these ideas, taking into account available grant money and what would be most beneficial for Bray and its surrounding areas. The building’s excellent location, with nearby public transport and central position in the town, makes it accessible to all ages. It also provides an opportunity to address the demand for public toilets on the main street, a request many have made. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the progress of this development and how it will benefit the people of Bray.”