Ardee Castle on Castle Street in Ardee PICTURE: Conor McEneaney
A Full Architectural Design Team will be attached to progress the Ardee Castle development project within a month, Louth County County Council have confirmed.
The local authority ringfenced €1.2 million of capital expenditure in their 2018 Budget to the long-awaited project, with an estimated total cost of €2.2 million. Ardee Castle is currently closed to the public.
In an update issued to councillors in the Mid-Louth town on Wednesday, the local authority confirmed that the tender process has concluded and a letter was been issued to the preferred bidder last Friday requesting pre-award documentation.
The ADT will consist of key professionals including an architect, conservationist architect, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, archaeologist, project supervisor design and quantity surveyor.
The team will take the preliminary design - which was granted Part 8 planning permission last year - through the next steps of detailed design, preparation of tender documents, tender evaluation and administration at construction stage.
Louth County Council say that the pre-award appointment checks will be completed and a Design Team in place by mid-June. It had previously been expected that the new team would be in place in February of this year.
The preliminary design was completed by Fingal County Council. Development work on the ancient townhouse will include the castle itself, the Bridewell Block to the rear, the modern courtyard and the adjoining house known as the Judge’s Chambers. The latter is intended to be used as new public entrance and reception area.
Last year, a bid to secure substantial new funding for the ancient townhouse from Failte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, failed. Outside of the €1.2 million earmarked for spending, it is understood the council will apply once again to Failte Ireland for the remaining funding.