Works to conserve bank building in UCC planning application

Detailed plans of conservation work to retain historic features of a former city centre bank are included in an application to convert it to a business school for University College Cork.

Works to conserve bank building in UCC planning application

The old Cork Savings Bank building was bought from Cork City Council by the university last year for more than €1.4m for the purpose of converting it to a Cork University Business School (CUBS) facility.

It is intended to focus on executive education, providing courses and training for staff of local and regional businesses. Some research activities will also be undertaken there, as well as some postgraduate courses.

A stipulation in the sale agreement with the council, which bought the building from Permanent TSB in 2012 for a reported €800,000, is that the building will be made available for up to 12 civic functions a year.

The banking counter will be removed from the ground floor banking hall, which will otherwise retain its existing layout.

The Cork Savings Bank moved into the building, designed by architects Thomas and Kearns Deane, on the riverside site at the corner of Parnell Place and Lapp’s Quay in 1842.

In an architectural heritage impact assessment accompanying UCC’s planning application for change of use from banking to education, it is stated that the building’s main elevation will be retained and restored.

A similar commitment is given in respect of the adjoining building at Parnell Place, formerly the bank secretary’s residence, which also forms part of the planned conversion to a business school premises.

Some of the walls between the two properties are proposed to be removed to facilitate providing offices and one of the larger lecture rooms. It is one of five lecture rooms planned for the facility, which UCC hopes to be occupied in the next year.

The plan includes the construction of a three-storey extension in a rear yard, which it is stated would not be visible from the street.

It is also proposed to retain the bank boardroom and entrance banking hall, with the exception of removing the banking counter, with architectural features like cornices and skirting. Sash windows are to be reinstated in the Parnell Place building and the bank’s cast iron railings will be restored.

The application was lodged by UCC’s building and estates office in the days before Christmas, and a decision is due by the end of February, if the council does not require further information on the plans to be submitted.

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