Context: Dublin City Council is reviewing the current Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022 and preparing a new City Development Plan (the Plan) up to 2028.
Response: The DCC Chief Executives response to the issues raised in the submissions has been prepared and his report with recommendations has been submitted to the City Council for the Elected Members consideration.
Update: The pre-draft consultation ended on the 22nd February 2021 with 752 submissions being received during this first phase of the process. The DCC Chief Executives response and further information is available here.
What you can do: Sign up to the Music Alliance Ireland mailing list, where we will give further updates.

Feedback on Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022

  1. The Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022, states “It is a priority for Dublin City Council that the city is and will be a space to make, experience and share culture.” It states policies and objectives of as “To support existing, and encourage the growth of emerging, cultural clusters and hubs in the city, which bring together cultural activities with supporting uses such as restaurants, retail outlets etc. to create vibrant and innovative cultural experiences. “ and “To ensure that t-for-purpose, accessible, cultural facilities are considered as part of larger developments in the city, having regard to Dublin City Council’s Cultural Needs Analysis.”

We ask:

  • That Dublin City Council create a Dublin Music Hub, a venue suitable for music. Acknowledging that music requires purpose-built spaces with due attention to acoustics, sound proofing, the provision of a piano, and basic infrastructure to allow rehearsing for solo musicians and/or groups of musicians, and recording, and that general visual arts and theatre spaces are not suitable.
  • That in all future cultural developments the specific needs of music will be considered and delivered to.Including those currently in planning for cultural clusters established and emerging around Parnell Square, Heuston gateway, North and South Docklands, the Liberties and Smithfield  and the Liberties/Temple Bar.
  1. Throughout the 2016-2022 plan achievements for artforms are mentioned – visual art ( Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, The Red Stables), dance (the national dance centre, Dance House) theatre, literature (Dublin Writers Museum, The Irish Writer Centre, City Library project), UNESCO City of Literature), no-where have specific achievement for music been mentioned.

We ask:

  • It is important for the Dublin City Development plan 2023 – 2028 to state from the outset that Culture in Dublin would be unimaginable without the contribution of music and the Irish music sector. Music permeates the history and the life of Dublin City. It is therefore important that the Dublin City Council recognises music’s centrality to Dublin Culture, with a clear inclusion of provision for the music sector in future Dublin City Development Plans.
  • That Dublin City Council not shrink back from its leadership role in the life of music in Dublin and is a key part of the Irish music infrastructure, and establish a clear policy on music development in the city.
  • Lead the engagement with the Dublin music sector, with the establishment of a music advisory panel drawn from across Dublin musical life.
  • That once the Dublin City Council plan 2022-2028 has been in-acted that Dublin City Council will be able to boast achievements in music including a Music Hub Space for the city. 
  1. Achievements noted in the 2016 – 2022 plan include  “The need to support workspaces for emerging artists has been met in many cases with high quality facilities provided in the city such as the LAB on Foley Street providing exhibition space for emerging artists, rehearsal space for three theatre companies and incubator spaces. Alongside the LAB, the national dance centre, Dance House, has been provided on a public–private partnership basis and has been open since 2006. The Red Stables in St Anne’s Park provides subsidised studio spaces for artists.”  – but providing no space for music.  The  plan does acknowledge shortfalls – “Despite the vast range and the prestige of cultural facilities and institutions in the city a shortfall remains, both in the city centre and in the outer city. This deficit includes libraries, rehearsal and performance spaces, studio workshops, administrative space etc. Meeting this shortfall is a challenge for the future development and accessibility of cultural life in the city – again it does so with no specific reference to music.

We ask:

  • That any cultural development includes consideration and provision for music (see document below on details of spaces needed).
  • That such space for music include music groups and organisations as well as individual practitioners. 
  • That provision for the life cycle of a wide variety of music is provided for in the city –  workspace for its orchestras,  ensembles, choirs, quartets, music groups , labels and individual artists across a number of genres;.  Provision for broadcasts, recording, archiving, publishing, and  performance space for live music events. Live work and subsidised living spaces for its creatives and cultural workers. Potential for employment opportunities for musicians, composers and music sector workers.
  • That Dublin City Council it helps promote music festivals, concerts and amateur and professional performers.
  1. The Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022, quotes as an achievement  “the proposed new City Library project culturally underpin the Parnell Square cultural quarter and the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street.” – this project has had the proposed music centre stripped from it.

We ask –

That a music hub for Dublin is made a priority in the 2023-2028 plans (see details below of proposed space requirements).

  1. Throughout the Cultural section of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022 the value of culture to tourism is emphasised, to the lack of focus on the working lives of creatives and cultural workers – the ability to maintain practices in the city. If creatives are unable to work and live in the city there will be no culture for tourists, nor the people of Dublin city to consume.

We ask:

  • That the emphasis on the Dublin City Development plan 2023 – 2028 is on provision for creatives and the cultural sector.

What is needed in Dublin City Development Plan 2022 – 2028

Dublin Music Hub

Where is Dublin’s hub for music? Ireland is a small country with a huge tradition of music, punching way above its weight internationally. Such a vibrant national scene needs a centre – a home which nurtures the creation of music, develops its excellence and celebrates the people who make it. Dublin needs a space for music. There is currently no dedicated space.

The music community needs a space that functions as a hub space for the music community and a centre for excellence in music in Ireland. A space run by the music sector for the music sector. Supporting the musical life of the city all year around and a point of collectivity and community for the music sector. A space to provide resources, support and facilitate communication & representation for the all genres of professional practicing musicians, composers, lyricists and other music practitioners in Dublin in particular that of the non-commercial music .

Dublin needs-

  • an ambitious centre for the musical innovation and excellence
  • space dedicated to creating music
  • a space to facilitate collaboration
  • community hub for the music sector
  • a shared resource space for music

We need a well-resourced, functioning joyous space bursting with new music.

We need a home for music in Dublin.

Dublin’s hub for music would include:

  • Performance venue(s)
  • Large ensemble rehearsal
  • Individual composition / rehearsal studios
  • Recording, broadcasting and post-production
  • Music organisation offices
  • Bar/coffee shop
  • Storage

Key considerations 

  • Long lease length
  • 24 hr access / usage
  • Soundproofing
  • High Visibility – a cultural asset for the city
  • Central / with good transport links
  • Accessible for all
  • Public access

TYPES OF USAGE running concurrently –

  • Hot desks (coffee shop)
  • Bookable spaces (by the hour/day)
  • Short term –project based residencies
  • Long term – resident groups / key anchor group


As well as offering space and equipment the centre would act as a point of support for the music sector.

The space would find ways to bring together the local music community. Creating and maintain channels for communication, and a joint voice for advocacy for the sector. Including creating joint marketing channels and initiatives. Facilitating discussion/debates/research on the development of the music sector in Dublin.  Bringing the sector together to work for the rights of our artists and creatives.


  • Performances
  • Open rehearsals
  • Listening/screening events
  • Workshop, educations and professional practice courses

National: The space would look to partner with organisations and groups across the Dublin and Irish music sector.

International: The space should act as part of a European network of organisations and centres dedicated to facilitating, researching and nurturing musical excellence in their country. With the intention of learning from and sharing learning in order to continue the creative growth of the Irish music scene.

More detail – Dublin Music Hub 

Music Alliance Ireland have devised a detailed outline of requirements the for a space for music, which we are happy to share. We are keen to work with Dublin City Council  to develop this important facet of Dublin cultural life.

Beyond the Hub – Other types of spaces for music needed in Dublin

  • Increased performance, rehearsal and office space nationally for music groups and collectives.
  • Studio spaces for musicians and composers.
  • Work/live spaces for musicians and music sector workers.


The Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028 is an excellent opportunity to set out a new vision for music as part of the Cultural provision in the city. Our key message is that the Plan 2022-2028 should reflect the centrality of music to the Cultural life of Dublin City and we believe the recommendations above will achieve that.

Thank you for your attention.

Submitted by:  Music Alliance Ireland / Comhaontas Ceoil na hÉireann

 Image courtesy of Improvised Music Company. 

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