National Enterprise Towns: Victorian Quarter, Cork

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at Cork City’s Victorian Quarter.

The Victorian Quarter comprises MacCurtain Street, Bridge Street, Patricks Quay, Coburg Street, Camden Quay, Wellington Road and the Lower Glanmire Road (to Kent Train Station). It is situated on the north side of the River Lee and is traditionally a trading quarter.

The area has become majorly diverse in recent times with the growth of schools, churches and colleges opening up in the area. The area has also become densely populated with less than 7.5% upper floor vacancy and a population of around 5,000 people. The majority of the businesses in the area are within the hospitality trade.

The demographic of the area is vastly diverse with four schools in the area as well as one English College.

Soul of the city

The area sees a huge influx of tourists during the summer months due to the Quarter being easily accessible by bus and train, especially for those visiting by cruise to Cobh. The everyday demographic of the customers in the area tends to be young-middle aged professionals who eat and drink in the local bars and restaurants.

The main features of the area comprise of the unique Victorian architecture which is visibly seen throughout the area and preserved wherever it can be. It can be accessed by three bridges from the city centre. The area can also be overlooked by perhaps Cork’s most famous hill, Patricks Hill. The area also has a unique natural waterfall situated besides Greenes Restaurant.

The Victorian Quarter marketing team persistently have initiatives in which to promote the area to the wider community. For example, a fun pop up ‘Tug of War was held on the newly refurbished Patrick’s Bridge recently to promote the area. The Quarter also is the home of both the Jazz Festival and Soul in the City.

In recent weeks judges for the National Enterprise Town Awards visited the Victorian Quarter and were given an insight into the vibrancy of the quarter.

It was clear that the Victorian Quarter is an area on the rise and “on the verge of greatness” with future plans already underway through the unveiling of the Mary Elmes Bridge and further work being done on Harley Street.

Close to 50 enthusiastic businesses and community organisations filled the Metropole Hotel Ballroom to give the judges a clear flavour of how well the community works together and support and partner with each other to bring the whole area to colourful life.

Published by John Kennedy (

Published: 26 September, 2019