Call for clarity on €15m sum allocated to Cork Events Centre in Budget

One line from the budget states that “€15 million is being provided to support for Cork City Council’s advancement of the Cork Events Centre project.” 
Call for clarity on €15m sum allocated to Cork Events Centre in Budget

An artist impression of the Event Centre. One line from the budget states that “€15 million is being provided to support for Cork City Council’s advancement of the Cork Events Centre project.” Picture supplied by G-Net 3D www.gnet.ie.

CONFUSION surrounds a €15m sum which has been allocated in Budget 2023 to the Cork Events Centre.

The venue has been the subject of a long-running funding saga.

One line from the budget states that “€15 million is being provided to support for Cork City Council’s advancement of the Cork Events Centre project”.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party, Peter Horgan, said the whole thing is “shrouded in secrecy” and it’s unclear where the money is coming from. 

“There is no transparency on this project anymore. Fifteen million allocated in a one-line sentence – last year €12.5m was allocated.” 

Mr Horgan said he didn’t know if that €12.5m has been drawn down by the City Council, or where the project stands. 

“It’s really incumbent on the elected members to hold this project to account and find out where it currently stands because this is all public money.

 “I think everyone is in favour of the events centre. Businesses have extended lines of credit over many years.” 

 Mr Horgan pointed to the success of Elton John and Ed Sheeran in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in attracting huge footfall to Cork, along with massive concerts and conferences.

It is the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, who has responsibility for the project in government, said Mr Horgan, but the department has consistently said it is the work of Cork City Council.

“It’s simply a question that the local authority must answer. We should have a detailed summation of what has been spent today,” Mr Horgan added.

"If the project came to fruition, it would be a fantastic.

“It would be a winning formula for the city, for the hospitality sector and surrounding areas. But we have to have transparency on this project. It would be great to see a new shot of confidence in the project by a full throated announcement of where it stands.” 

Meanwhile, building costs are increasing at all times.

Mr Horgan said the line in the Budget “raises more questions than it answers".

Cork City Council and the Department of Housing have been contacted for comment.

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