“THE minute the High Court case was stood down, we were back re-engaging,” City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty said of the long-delayed Events Centre project.
The project is still awaited, despite the sod-turning in 2016, and most recently came up against High Court action, however, that has since been withdrawn.
“It’s only by the absolute commitment of local and central government that this project is still live.
“It has many a twist and a tale, but that’s the nature of these types of things,” Ms Doherty told The Echo.
The withdrawal of legal action, taken by Gleneagle Hotel (Killarney) Ltd, who also run the INEC Killarney, is “very welcome”, according to the chief executive, and means the project can get back on track.
“It takes us back, I suppose, to where we should have been in February which was that we would be at the end of the process in terms of the VEAT,” Ms Doherty said.
The Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency (VEAT) notices was a public notice about the additional funding that was being made available to the project — State funding increased to €50 million.
“We are now re-engaged with the project developers in the context of progressing.
“The project has planning, the project has funding, the project has no impediments around it, so that’s where we’re at. It’s about the signing of the funding agreement. Once that’s done then the developer and the operator proceed with their design and it goes to construction,” Ms Doherty said.
Asked about concerns that Live Nation may pull out of the venture given they are looking to cut costs across the company, Ms Doherty said: “Our relationship is with Bam, not Live Nation. The project we awarded was to Bam; they had their partner as the operator — Live Nation.
“As part of this process and when the project moves into the funding, it will be a joint Bam/Live Nation arrangement ... our communications are with Bam,” she said.
However, Ms Doherty said it would be premature for her to make assumptions surrounding a date for the start of construction on site.
“That will be a matter for the developer,” she said.