A view of St Joseph's convent and adjoining garden site in the centre of Ferbane.

Designs for Ferbane convent revamp to go on display next week

The people of Ferbane will get their first look at proposed designs for the redevelopment of St Joseph's Convent at a public information event early next week.

It takes place in Gallen Community School on Wednesday, March 6 next from 6.30pm to 8pm and is hosted by Offaly County Council in partnership with Ferbane community group, An Síolán.

The proposed regeneration of the convent will see the historic building transformed in a multi-purpose community/enterprise and learning hub for the town and surrounding areas.

St Hilda's Services and the Laois Offaly Education Training Board (LOETB), who will provide training services, are due to be the building's anchor tenants.

A "multi-purpose community space" is also due to be developed there and made available for use through the An Síolán group, who will hold the lease of the convent building following its purchase by Offaly County Council.

There are also plans to create an urban garden and walking trails close to the Brosna river, which adjoins the substantial site.

It's hoped this redevelopment project will help rejuvenate Ferbane town centre, and help attract further enterprises and businesses into the area.

Suggestions received during several Open Day consultation events last year were incorporated in the redevelopment plans and designs being presented to the public next week. Comments and engagement by local people on the latest designs are most welcome.

Should capital funding from the government be secured, it's estimated the project would take around 18 months to complete.

Several rooms in the building have already been opened up for community use until the revamp project gets underway.

In August of 2022, the final three sisters living in the former St Joseph of Cluny convent said farewell to the historic building, moving to a home along the Athlone Road.