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Cork Independent


BAM: construction expected this year

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018 5:08pm

Construction could start on the hotly anticipated events centre by the end of the year.

Reports in February indicated that a deal was done in principal to get the events centre over the line and finally started.

That was two years after the sod was turned on the South Main Street site.

February’s deal included investment by the State of another €10 million on top of €20 million already committed by the Government and Cork City Council. BAM and Live Nation are to cover the remaining costs of the €73 million project.

In a statement to the Cork Independent on Wednesday, BAM Ireland said: “The funding gap, both private and public, has almost closed and we are confident funding will be available to progress the project.

“We expect construction to be able to start during quarter four of this year. We have already begun construction on student accommodation on the site.”

The statement came after news came to light at a meeting of Cork City Council on Monday that there was no final agreement about the finances.

Independent Cllr Mick Finn, who keeps the topic on the council’s agenda with questions every few weeks, asked city officials if there was any updates.

He specifically wanted to know about the financial situation and if there was a definite start date.

At that stage on Monday evening, Pat Ledwidge, Head of Planning at Cork City Council, said that detailed work is ongoing to deliver this project.

He said: “There is no final agreement on the finances although there is a willingness on the part of all parties to continue to a final agreement. There is no definite start date for the project at this point.”

This response led to a lengthy discussion from a wide range of parties about the events centre.

The discussion also coincided with the recent news that Cork City Council granted permission for amendments to the development.

This includes changing the previously granted seven screen cinema across three floors into a now proposed office or educational space across four floors.

Independent Cllr and historian Kieran McCarthy said that the site is different now to what was originally proposed.

“We need to tell the story of that site,” he said.

Fine Gael Cllr Joe Kavanagh said this is going to be a good news story for Cork and that the council should have regular updates on it while Fianna Fáil’s Sean Martin said that the project has to go ahead for the proper development of the city.

Sinn Fein’s Thomas Gould also agreed that councillors need a full update on the project.

Cllr Des Cahill (Fine Gael) said that the Government is committed is 100 per cent to the project.

Mr Ledwidge told councillors that a full report on the project would be completed soon.

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