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STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - url: /corknews/Construction-start-date-on-events-centre-project-still-months-away-d8835a31-36b7-49af-8dc6-50b5c5cb612a-ds

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A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plansPic: G-Net 3D
A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plansPic: G-Net 3D

Construction start date on events centre project still months away

IT'S unlikely there will be any significant movement on the events centre project within the next six to eight months.

It is understood that despite a €50m Government once-off payment package being agreed, detailed internal design plans have yet to be put together for the centre.

Ground may not be broken on the project, which is expected to cost around €85m, until those plans are completed. That process is due to take six to eight months following the month-long period currently underway when legal challenges around the procurement process can be taken. 

However, it is understood these would be dealt with swiftly through the High Court should they arise.

City councillors were briefed on the project last night. 

A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans. 
A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans. 

It is understood that some raised concerns that if, following the detailed design process the cost of the project increases beyond €85m, developers Bam and operators Live Nation could still have the option to step away from the project.

The Government has pledged €50m, while Bam and Live Nation have committed €35m. 

However, if the project exceeds this amount, no more funding will come from the Government and it will fall on the companies involved to bear the brunt of the cost.

Meanwhile, other councillors have said it is highly unlikely that any case will be taken against the project over the next few weeks, and neither do they expect any issues with the developers or operators of the venue.

Councillors were also briefed on the positives the centre would bring to Cork City, with an average annual turnover expected to be worth around €36m to the city in annual spend over the first five years. 

For every €1 spent on a ticket, it is expected that there will be a €6 spend in the city, be that on parking, in restaurants and bars, on bed nights in hotels, or in shops.

The event centre project will be worth approximately 585 jobs both directly and indirectly, while it is expected that, annually, 420,000 people will attend events at the centre.

A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans. Pic: G-Net 3D
A computer-generated image of the revised events centre plans. Pic: G-Net 3D

In a statement, Cork City Council said: "A Voluntary Ex Ante Transparency Notice (VEAT notice) was published by Cork City Council in the Official Journal of the European Union on Friday, January 3. 

"The purpose of the Voluntary ex ante transparency notice (VEAT notice) is to put those with an interest in the Event Centre process on notice of the changes being made to what was originally tendered in 2014.

"The key change is that Government/Cork City Council intends to provide €50 million in funding as a non-repayable grant and that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be set up by the preferred bidder, BAM Construction and its preferred operator, Live Nation, for the sole purpose of developing and operating the Event Centre. 

"This SPV will provide a minimum of €35 million in project funding for the development. Cork City Council has no role in the SPV.

"The finer detail of the funding agreement will be signed off over the coming months."