THE €10 million take-it-or-leave-it offer from the State to developers BAM to kickstart the events centre may be the last chance for the development as the only other interested party has ruled out a renewed bid for the project.
Last week, Cork City Council made an application for further funding for the event centre project, seeking €10 million on behalf of developers BAM from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
BAM, which has yet to respond to the offer, had sought €18 million.
The application by the local authority came on the back of legal advice which 'confirms the maximum amount of additional public funding that can be granted without instigating a new procurement process', according to Tony Fitzgerald, the Lord Mayor of Cork.
The development has led to renewed fears on Leeside that the long-awaited development may never see the light of day, with some even calling for the government to put the project back out to tender.
However, even that may not be sufficient, with a spokesperson for O'Callaghan Properties confirming it has 'moved on' from having any interest in developing an event centre in Cork.
O'Callaghan Properties were the only other developer to compete for the original tender in 2014, meaning it is uncertain that any other company would even submit a new tender should the project go back to the drawing board.
A spokesperson for the developer said, "O'Callaghan Properties are fully focused on the development of Navigation Square on our Albert Quay site.
"That will be the biggest office project to be undertaken in Cork city centre. We have moved on from all matters relating to the event centre."
While the Marquee frequently hosts 5,000 people during the summer months, for the 10 months of the year that it is not operational, Cork city’s biggest permanent venue is the Opera House, whose capacity is just 1,000.
The development followed years of campaigning by locals, with a contractor appointed in 2008. Construction began in February 2011, with the first concert held on July 24, 2013.
Killarney’s INEC hosts major events throughout the year capable of hosting multi-day conferences, major music events and festivals, each resulting in a major financial boost to the town.