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Still no start date in sight for events centre

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019 4:48pm

Work on the stalled events centre won’t start until at least June, it was confirmed this week.

The sod was turned on the 6,000 seater project in February 2016, a move that has since been labelled a stunt as it happened a few days before the last general election.

Since then, the multi-million euro project has hit with numerous delays and false starts, including revised planning applications and delays in agreeing funding between the Government, Cork City Council, developers BAM and promoters Live Nation.

BAM is seeking an extra €10 million to proceed with the build but it is unsure yet if this will be a loan. If sanctioned, it will bring the amount of public funding going towards the project to €30 million.

Outgoing head of planning at City Hall, Pat Ledwidge spoke about it at Monday's meeting of Cork City Council after Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy and the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn asked for an update on the €80 million project.

Mr Ledwidge said: “The project will not commence before the local elections on 24 May 2019. Cork City Council is taking advice on the terms which additional public funding can be made available to the developers of the proposed events centre. The amount of additional funding has not yet been agreed. The circumstances which any funding would be repayable have not yet been finalised.”

While building the events centre hasn’t started yet, the developers have commenced building students accommodation on the site.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Sean Martin told the Cork Independent that the council can learn from this and in hindsight should have asked that the student accommodation be built after the events centre was.

However, he said: “If it means that the Government has to come up with a few million euro more, then that needs to happen at this stage or else tell us it’s off and let’s move on. I personally think that BAM would like to get this over the line.

“Come back and tell us if this is dead in the water or if more money is needed. If more money is needed, let’s do it.”

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