'Floating' student accommodation under consideration in Galway

The barges feature en-suite bedrooms, restaurants, recreation rooms and laundry facilities.

'Floating' student accommodation under consideration in Galway

The Bibby Stockholm Barge. Image: Bibby Maritime Ltd

Students in Galway could soon be offered an innovative new solution to their housing woes.

A property management company is hoping to float two barges in a private dock in Galway City - creating accommodation for more than 400 people right in the city centre.

The purpose-built barges are already in use internationally and feature en-suite bedrooms, restaurants, recreation rooms and laundry facilities.

The two vessels, the Bibby Stockholm and the Bibby Bergen, have 222 and 180 en-suite rooms respectively.

The Bibby Stockholm Barge. Image: Bibby Maritime Ltd

The Bibby Stockholm Barge. Image: Bibby Maritime Ltd

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Enda McGuane, managing director of Winters Property Management said it is time to think outside the box as the housing crisis continues.

While costs, permits, planning and compliance issues all need to be resolved, he said the accommodation could be ready within three weeks if necessary.

"The shortage is so acute this year that we started explore options such as converting unused hotels," he said.

"Then we came across a solution that we have seen used internationally - it is used in Copenhagen and some other sites."

He said the barges do not have any outdoor decks - adding that they can be set up in such a way as to ensure they are safe and secure for students.

Should the project come to fruition, the rooms will be available for between €250 - €500 per month.

"In Galway single en-suite rooms in purpose-built student accommodation vary between €520 and €540 per month so what we are trying to do is come in as close or underneath that to make it viable," said Mr McGuane.

"The objective is not to extract money from students or parents."

You can take a virtual tour of the barges under consideration here