Expressions of interest: feasibility study of potential site for a Maritime Activity Centre for Meitheal Mara and associates

Meitheal Mara:

Founded in 1993, Meitheal Mara “Community Workers of the Sea” is a community boatyard in the heart of Cork city.
We are a Company Limited by Guarantee, a registered charity and a training centre.

Our vision is Growth through maritime heritage – Na báid agus saol na ndaoine.

The mission of Meitheal Mara is to integrate and expand personal and community development opportunities through the mediums of traditional boat building, maritime recreation and maritime heritage. Our primary object is to grow and integrate Cork city’s maritime recreation and tourism sector at a purpose built river-side site. A number of other groups closely associated with Meitheal Mara have indicated their interest in this venture. Meitheal Mara’s strategic plan is available here. 

Meitheal Mara is currently based in a 19th century mill owner’s house with temporary workshops beside the river but with limited access to it. Part of our fleet of boats is temporarily stored in borrowed space in a warehouse due for development. Other boats are on a temporary pontoon in the city centre and on outside racks in space with slipway access rented from Shandon Boat Club. The latter area is shared with our partner organisation, Cork’s currach club, Naomhóga Chorcaí.

Funding for a study has been sourced from the Healthy Ireland Fund allocation for the Cork City Local Economic and Community Plan. There is a fixed amount of €15,750 available inclusive of VAT. The Healthy Ireland Fund deadline for completion of work is 31/3/2018.


To produce a feasibility study on the provision of a Maritime Activity Centre at a particular site on the Marina, Cork. The site is on land owned by Cork City Council. The development of a viable vehicular slipway adjacent to the site is a pre-requisite for the facility and an essential component of the study. The needs of associate groups and organisations involved in the Maritime Activity Centre are to be identified.

The report of the study must help make Meitheal Mara’s case for the site in line with the organisation’s social, recreational, cultural and heritage values; the value and opportunities for Cork city and harbour; and the opportunities for Meitheal Mara to grow and develop sustainably. The study will address and make recommendations on the items below.


The lead consultant will engage a technical/engineering partner to carry out the following tasks within the overall scope of the study:

  • A technical assessment of the requirements of providing a vehicular slip suitable for trailers and the launch and recovery of various types of craft of dimensions up to 15 metres and weight of 5 tonnes (Meitheal Mara’s longboat Fionnbarra is 12 metres long and together with van and trailer weighs 4.2 tonnes)
  • Liaise and consult with relevant bodies on all regulatory requirements relating to the slipway, including planning and foreshore requirements
  • Propose a feasible timeframe for development of the slipway, including meeting regulatory requirements
  • Advise on access and public realm requirements for the safe operation of the site and slip
  • Outline design and high level costing of options for the slipway and the public realm
  • Create high level visual impression of the proposed space integration of the slipway, public realm and site

Facility needs, funding and operation:

  • Liaise with Government departments, other relevant public bodies and potential funders to establish support for the Maritime Activity Centre
  • Liaise with staff, Board and relevant experts in the preparation of the overall feasibility study
  • Consult Meitheal Mara’s associates and any other relevant maritime recreation providers in the area and identify complementary strategic needs
  • Consult and report on the implications of moving to the proposed site for Meitheal Mara’s current client organisations and members of staff
  • Identify Meitheal Mara’s collaboration focus/priorities
  • Confirm the site and facility needs for the Maritime Activity Centre
  • Review existing national and local authority development, tourism, heritage, training, employment and enterprise plans and recommend how best to position the proposed Maritime Activity Centre within the framework these provide
  • Articulate the benefit to Cork (city, harbour and county) and Ireland for the establishment of the Maritime Activity Centre
    Identify international models and suggest best practice
  • Examine brand potential of the Maritime Activity Centre and how best to link it with the existing reputations and standing of Meitheal Mara, Ocean to City An Ras Mór and Cork Harbour Festival
  • Advise on possible sources of funding for the provision of the slipway
  • Research potential sources of funds nationally and internationally, public and private, and recommend a funding/sponsorship strategy for the Maritime Activity Centre to integrate and make best use of the differing attributes/capacities/standing of Meitheal Mara and its associate groups
  • Propose an operational model/s to manage and operate the Maritime Activity Centre, to include the slipway

Please submit a proposal for assessment by 11 am on Tuesday 6th February 2018 to including:

  • Evidence of qualifications and experience of carrying out similar assignments
  • CV and details of the members of the team who will be carrying out the study
  • Costs
  • Evidence of tax compliance
  • Timeframe for completion to meet the Healthy Ireland Fund deadline of 31/3/2018

Deadline for submissions: 11 am on Tuesday 6th February 2018


  • Further Information including details of the site location is available from the Manager, Meitheal Mara, at
  • Meitheal Mara can provide assistance with setting up and coordination of meetings with members of our associate clubs and client groups.
  • Invitation to Tender also posted on Activelink.
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