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 Construction work ongoing at the events centre site off South Main Street, Cork.Picture: Denis Minihane.
Construction work ongoing at the events centre site off South Main Street, Cork.Picture: Denis Minihane.
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City Council: Any future events centre funding must come from developer

OFFICIALS at City Hall last night insisted that any future funds required to finance the events centre will have to come from the developer.

A statement from Cork City Council also confirmed that additional funds approved as part of the Ireland 2040 Plan have yet to receive final approval.

Provisions to get the long-awaited amenity over the line were confirmed just over two weeks ago, coinciding with the second anniversary of the sod turning at the South Main Street site. It included an additional €10 million in State support, bringing the public contribution to €30 million.

BAM is to match the additional State investment, though some questions remain in relation to the construction timetable, with the developer confirming that new planning is required for an expanded centre.

Independent councillor Mick Finn called for specific timetables to be mapped out at City Hall, with officials confirming their support of the project.

A statement from City Hall said, "Each party has agreed in principle to provide additional funding for the project. In the case of Government and City Council, this funding will be provided through facilities that maintain the integrity of the existing process. No additional funding has yet received final approval.

"It is the position of Government and the City Council that any public funding will be only committed to the project when the developer confirms that the public funding available will enable the project to be completed."

Adding to the statement, Deputy Chief Executive Pat Ledwidge clarified that the City is keen to ensure agreement on all sides.

"We don't want the development to start and then stall," he told the meeting.

"What we are looking for is a commitment that once the agreement is in place that the development would go through. If we ended up with a half finished events centre and people looking for more money, that would leave us in an even worse position than we are in now.

"What we are trying to do now is to ensure that whatever is agreed is agreed and it proceeds. What we are saying is that the amount of public money that we have put in place is sufficient and that any other money will be from the private sector."

Independent councillor Mick Finn called for a definitive timeframe to be published by the developer.

He said, "Now that extra State funding has been given to the project, as part of the 2040 plan, the ball is back in the court of BAM and Live Nation to determine whether or not €30 million of public money can get this €70 million plus investment over the line. If it is to commence in quarter three as we are told, I think we should now have confirmation of a green light from the developers and a new progression timeline.

"We don’t want this rumbling on for another four years."