Disappointment at events centre delays

Disappointment at events centre delays
The new events centre off South Main Street, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THE incoming Lord Mayor has expressed disappointment at the latest delays in the delivery of the events centre.

BAM Ireland CEO Theo Cullinane this week confirmed that due to further changes in the project, the developer is required to seek an amendment to the planning permission, a move which could add a further six to eight weeks to the timeline.

Mr Cullinane said BAM is hoping to begin construction before the end of the year but has admitted the timeline is tight.

Further delays are anticipated as the government has yet to make a final decision regarding an application for additional state support. The application was submitted via City Hall late last year with no outcome clear at this stage.

The news has been met by further disappointment in the city, with many pointing to the recent successes of the Ed Sheeran concerts at Páirc Uí Chaoimh as proof of the economic benefit the centre would deliver to Cork.

It has also emerged that a licensing agreement on the €12 million Government funding pledged to the stalled event centre expires next year.

Any revised funding deal for the venue, which has seen costs soar from €50m to at least €75m, and which is seeking another €10m in State funding, will require a new agreement.

Independent City Councillor Mick Finn, who is expected to become Lord Mayor next month, said the delays are disappointing but urged those involved to make sure that the development is delivered.

He said: “While we are not where we should be by now, we must remember that this major project is something Cork has failed to deliver up to now and we are as close to this happening as we ever have been in the last two decades.

“I would urge all parties, especially Minister Coveney and his Government colleagues, to get the intricacies of the financials over the line.

“The sold-out Ed Sheeran concert series showed what Cork can do; let us start doing it every week of the year in a world-class event centre.”

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