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Planning permission granted for ambitious redevelopment of Crawford Art Gallery

Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has welcomed today’s decision by Cork City Council to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of Crawford Art Gallery. The project, which is being funded by the Minister’s Department, has been designed by an interdisciplinary design team, led by award-winning Grafton Architects, and is being delivered by the Office of Public Works and Crawford Art Gallery.


The project will expand and modernise Crawford in line with international museum standards, providing new exhibition spaces and a Learn and Explore facility to engage new audiences, as well as a new public gallery providing panoramic views of Cork city. The redevelopment will also address long-standing challenges with the fabric of the historic building, providing fit-for-purpose storage spaces for the National Collection, and will significantly enhance the sustainability of the building. Critically, the project will create a new entrance onto Emmett Place, opening Crawford onto a new urban plaza at the heart of the cultural life of the city. The Gallery will remain open to visitors until the Autumn of 2024 after which time the redevelopment will commence on-site.


The redevelopment of Crawford Art Gallery is a flagship project in the Minister’s programme of investments under the National Development Plan, which will see many of the much-loved National Cultural Institutions restored, renewed and future-proofed for generations to come.


Speaking today, Minister Martin, said:

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for the Crawford Gallery, for the people of Cork and for art lovers across Ireland. With this design Grafton Architects, in collaboration with gallery staff and a dedicated design team, have re-imagined this beloved institution, designing a revitalised gallery which is sympathetic to the building’s historic structure while also delivering much-needed additional exhibition and learning spaces. The Crawford is just one of the National Cultural Institutions earmarked to receive funding for redevelopment under the National Development Plan. Today’s grant of planning permission is an important milestone in the programme and it sets the bar high for the projects to come.”


Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State at the Department of Public Enterprise, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, said:

“I am delighted with the announcement by Cork City Council to approve the planning application for the Crawford Art Gallery Redevelopment Project. This will allow us to progress with our programme of works to enhance the visual presence of the Gallery collections, while preserving the historic building and providing a vibrant new space for art and the public to meet in the heart of the city.”


Chair of the Crawford Art Gallery, Rose McHugh, said:

It is an exciting time for Crawford Art Gallery and this ambitious and well considered plan will ensure Crawford remains at the core of Cork and Ireland’s cultural life into the future.”. She thanked the team involved and the OPW and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for their collaboration on all elements of the project.




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Notes to Editor:


Today marks the formal grant of planning permission for the redevelopment of the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. The project is part of the Minister’s significant programme of investment in the National Cultural Institutions, under the National Development Plan.


The project will deliver the following:


A significant reorientation of the existing Gallery space, with the new entrance relocated to the historic Custom House building, facing onto Emmet Place.

The project will provide for significant new and enhanced spaces including the following:

- c. 236 sq. m of new build additional gallery / exhibition space including a new public gallery with panoramic views of the city - c. 640 sq. m of new build additional circulation space -  c. 100 sq. m of reception area space -  c. 316 sq. m of new build art collection storage space to protect and care for the national collections -  c. 245 sq. m of new build additional ancillary space -  c. 74 sq. m for a new Learn and Explore facility -  c. 175 sq. m of new courtyard space


The existing galleries and public spaces will be made more accessible and socially inclusive.


The historic fabric of the building will be protected and the building future-proofed with significant investment in its sustainability.