LORD Mayor Mick Finn has urged developers BAM to fast-track construction of Cork’s long-awaited event centre after the attorney general approved plans to increase state funding in the development.
Progress on the proposed 6,000-seater venue on South Main Street had stalled as the Government awaited legal advice as to whether it could increase its investment from the original €20m to €30m. The attorney general has now advised it is legal for the state to do so.
A decision is still awaited on a planning application Bam have lodged tp modify the Events Centre plans.
“It has taken a long, long time to get to the point of funding approval by government which has to be welcomed,” Mr Finn said.
“I urge the developers and the City Council to now fast-track the process to get actual construction of this Cork Event Centre underway as soon as possible including the new finance mechanisms required.
“A lot of other developments in and around the city hinge on this going ahead.”
Cork Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer also welcomed the Government’s green light to proceed, saying the development ‘will allow Cork to unlock its potential’.
“It’s vital now that the construction phase commences,” he said. “People rightly want to see concrete being poured, pylons sunk, and workmen on site.” It is now close to three years since the sod was turned on the Event Centre site and much frustration has been expressed at the repeated delays.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said it was up to developers BAM and partner Live Nation to progress construction without further delays or overruns.
The Lord Mayor urged that other plans for Cork proceed without similar delays.
“Plans to develop Cork as a counterbalance to Dublin will have to be executed much more quickly than this process for Ireland 2040 to be realised...especially when it comes to housing,” he said.