The Abbey Quarter urban development in Kilkenny, Ireland South East, has been officially launched.

The first phase of a major new urban development in Kilkenny city has been officially launched today by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The Abbey Quarter is being created on the site of the old Smithwick’s brewery at St Francis’s Abbey, close to the city centre.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the Brewhouse part of the project, which will see the old brewery building being renovated and turned into a new office building. Other parts of the Abbey Quarter are due to include residential elements, a three-acre park, a new €2.2 million public library, and leisure facilities.

Mr Varadakar said the project is a “really good example of what will be achieved when talented people come together and think of important ways of regenerating our cities and towns.” He described the project launch as “the culmination of many years of work” and praised Kilkenny County Council for their vision in buying the brewery site after it closed for production over a decade ago. “It’s exactly the sort of project we had in mind when we created the €2 billion urban regeneration fund when we created Project 2040,” the Taoiseach said.