Columb Barracks Project

A working title for the LDA & WMCC Project on the Dept of Defence Columbs Barracks site.

A LDA Project on the Dept of Defence Columb Barracks site.

Columb Barracks Project

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Site Boundary


The Columb Barracks Project is the working title for the lands outlined in the map to the left. Columb Barracks is situated within the urban settlement of Mullingar, 800m west of the main street and 500m from Mullingar train station. The site of 9.9 hectares has good access to educational, community and retail facilities, as well as public transport provision in the form of multiple bus services and the Train Station.

An Advisory Group was established in January 2021 to provide an opportunity for key partners to collaborate and to advise the LDA in developing a vision for the regeneration of Columb Barracks. This vision is to create a new high quality sustainable urban neighbourhood with the existing protected structures at its heart. The Advisory Group have identified five key themes to inform the regeneration plan and support the potential for enterprise and innovation, education  and training , community facilities, cultural and heritage uses, public amenity spaces and climate resilient low- carbon housing across a mix of dwelling types, size and tenure. It aims to support a construction industry wide approach on modern methods of construction, deep retrofit and adaptive reuse methodologies.

Columb Barracks is a unique site in Mullingar Town and one that presents great opportunity, but also significant commercial challenges. Working with Westmeath County Council,  Enterprise Ireland, The Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, The Longford & Westmeath Education & Training Board, the Westmeath Public Participation Network and the local community and other key stakeholders, the LDA is determined to ensure the regeneration of this key historic site.

Established MMXVIII
Every Space Count


Enterprise & Education

  • A local focus with national reach
  • Attracting enterprise – identifying opportunities
  • Innovative – Centre of excellence in Built Environment
  • Education – Acting as a catalyst for enterprise
  • Incubation space – Nurture and grow indigenous business
  • Remote Working – Close to home, but not at home


  • Provision of homes as part of wider regeneration
  • Homes at the heart of a vibrant community
  • Climate resilient homes – showcase
  • Mix of homes suitable for all life cycle stages
  • Exemplar of adaptive reuse of protected structures
  • Potential for accommodation associated to education

Community, Recreation, Civic, Culture & Heritage

  • Provision of community, cultural, recreational and social infrastructure facilities
  • Recognising the importance of Columb Barracks – culture and heritage
  • Meaningful engagement to allow all of Mullingar put forward views
  • Supporting and enhancing the social infrastructure within the  local and wider community
  • Integrating with the existing community and harnessing the cultural contribution of Columb Barracks


  • Environmentally Sustainable – adaptive reuse of heritage buildings and low carbon building innovation, promoting green infrastructure and biodiversity
  • Socially Sustainable – vibrant and inclusive community,  facilitating a broad mix of uses, promoting activation of spaces throughout the day
  • Commercially sustainable – a managed and coordinated mix of feasible uses to ensure long term viability

Construction Innovation

  • Embrace innovation in new-build and refurbishment projects
  • Create a ‘Hub’ of research, education and demonstration
  • Modern Methods of Construction
  • Deep Retrofit and Adaptive Reuse Methodologies
  • Climate Resilient Low-Carbon Housing
  • Education, Training & Upskilling

Key Principles

Integrated with Context

Land Use Efficiency


Intelligent Value Engineering

Encouraging Healthy Movement

Green Infrastructure Provision

Inclusive Communities

Tenure Innovations

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Local Context

Located in the heart of the Midlands, Mullingar was traditionally a market town serving the large agricultural hinterland, it remains a significant commercial location. The Retail Core Area in Mullingar comprises of Oliver Plunkett Street, Mary Street, Dominick place and Church Avenue.

There is an out-of-town retail park at Lakepoint (about 1.6 km from the town centre), the Harbour Place Shopping Centre near the town centre, and the Fairgreen Shopping Centre just 500m from the Town Centre.

Mullingar contains several industrial estates including Lough Sheever Corportate Park and Clonmore Industrial Estate, Mullingar Business Park and the National Science Park located on the former site of Imperial Tobacco. The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) also has a business park at Marlinstown. Mullingar has a Chamber of Commerce which represnets almost 200 businesses from varying commercial sectors.

The site is located within 500m of the town centre where there is good access to retail, commercial and community services. To the south is Patrick street which contains a mixture of residential and commercial premises. Gealscoil an Mhuillinn is located along the boundary to the north-west.

Mullingar Train station is located 500m to the south of the site; the station is location on the Dublin-Sligo line and there are regular trains to Dublin Connolly Station (1 hr 25 mins) and Sligo (1 hr 50 mins). There are a number of bus stops in the town centre, the nearest one to the site is located at the train station. In addition to the Bus Eireann routes there are a number of private operators running services to the surrounding towns such as Athlon, Tullamore, Longford, and also to Dublin and Dublin Airport.

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