The story of Solas is the story of rebirth from a derelict industrial wasteland to an Eco Hub of sustainability, community and thriving local economy.

November 2020
January 2021
february 2021
March 2021
April 2021
May 2021

On what was once Ireland’s Largest steel fabricator ‘Butler’s Steel’
the 9-acre site and 76,000 sq feet of warehouses and offices had lain abandoned for over a decade before being purchased by several local business people in 2017.

So began the struggle to breathe life back into a brownfield waste –
reroofing, rewiring and reimagining former workshops into hubs
of commerce, Agribusiness and employment. Later came the garden
centre – housed entirely within revamped warehouses and repurposed
40ft containers. Like its centrepiece lighthouse, the project shines as a beacon of what is possible. This hub of Commerce, Food, Plants, Markets and Arts now employs over 100 people in Ireland’s
Greenest Campus


A much-used word, but what does it mean in practice? It means repurposing abandoned warehouses for a new purpose – replacing ‘Asbestos’ roof roofs with new insulated panels, replacing old electrics with low-energy LEDs.

It means turning the end of life 40ft shipping containers
into kitchens, cafés, education spaces and lighthouses.

It means Solar Panels, EV Charging, Grid water self-
sufficiency, Waste food to chickens’ eggs, and
10,000 daffodils.

It means delivering real change for the better!


We are Portarlington; We are citizens of Ireland and the world. We belong, We believe, We have rights, and we have above else- a responsibility to make things better. We strive to: Create a community hub – for people to come together and live a greener life and be all the happier for having past this way. Create an Artistic wonderland – of local attractions, dreams, beauty and style. Create an Eventful Life – Markets (Farmers, Craft and Christmas), Drive-in Movies, Clothes swap and Book Borrowers delight, Pride of Place, and Lover of Food, Nature, Craft and simple green life.


We are not just a hub of employment and self-enrichment – we are a platform for opportunity for local entrepreneurs, Food producers and craft stalls, Artists and ‘Light bulb Moment go-getters.’ We are a showcase of all that is great about our town, Laois and Ireland – from our café to our Food and craft shop.

Our new home:

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