Cork City was designated as the European Capital of Culture during 2005 and its national and international profile developed during this term. The city has a rich and varied artistic and cultural tradition, as well as a varied contemporary artistic community.
The Docklands area has considerable potential for the development of cultural uses. The River Lee forms a natural conduit for the linkage of existing cultural facilities close to and along the River Lee, such as the Museum in Fitzgerald's Park, the Glucksman Gallery, UCC, the Crawford Gallery and the National Sculpture Factory.
Corcadorca, Meridian and Boomerang Theatre Companies, Artrail, the Cork Midsummer Festival and the National Sculpture Factory have all organised events in the Docklands area in recent years.
A number of heritage buildings in the Docklands have been identified as being pivotal to the maritime and industrial heritage of the city. These include the Harbour Commissioners Complex, the Odlum’s Building, the grain silos and the Ford Factory Complex. The redevelopment of the former Odlum’s Building as a flagship cultural facility will represent a major cultural investment in the area. Potential also exists within the areas' public spaces to develop public art installations sited at key locations and public performance space in the future plazas.