Limerick Twenty Thirty powering ahead as €170m funding for Opera Site secured
The announcement of €170m in funding by two European institutions for the Opera Site over the past week has brought the vision of a dynamic new employment hub that will revitalise Limerick city centre a lot closer, the CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty (LTT) stated.
The European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) have pledged €85 in loan funding each for the development of the 1.62 hectare (3.9 acre) site purchased by Limerick City and County Council in 2011 after a planned development stalled three years earlier
The site will now be developed as a major employment hub in the city, with up to 3,000 people working on the campus when fully let. The project will be developed over a six year period to LEED Gold (international, sustainable building standard sought FDI) level and, in addition to office-based developments, it will also include retail and cultural elements.
These will include restaurants, bars and open entertainment spaces, ensuring that by night the site will be busy with social activity. The design will also be entirely complementary to and protect important Georgian architecture.
The Opera site development will follow the completion of its sister site, the 80,000 sq. ft LEED Gold ‘Gardens International’’ office accommodation project on Henry Street. This is set for completion next year and capable of accommodating 750 jobs.
Welcoming the announcement of the funding secured by Limerick City and County Council, LTT CEO David Conway said that the past week has been a pivotal one for the LTT project and the wider Limerick City region. “In the fullness of time when we look back on the key moments or periods that helped transform Limerick into one of Ireland’s key economic hubs, the past week will certainly stick out. The Opera Site is a critical piece in the jigsaw for the development of Limerick.”
The CEO also paid tribute to Limerick City and County Council for their successful efforts to secure the funding. “Nothing can happen on Opera without the funding. Limerick City and County Council, led by CEO Conn Murray, have shown fantastic leadership from the very off, initially by purchasing these hugely strategic sites and then setting a plan in train, including establishing Limerick Twenty Thirty, to develop them. The latest and key move has been securing this funding which effectively means that a very significant site in the heart of Limerick that has been in limbo for almost ten years can now finally go ahead, subject to planning permission. This is a site that, once developed, will be a catalyst for a transformational economic shift in Limerick that is going to trigger many more positive developments in the city centre and beyond. In that regard, the importance of these funding announcements cannot be overstated.”
Said LTT Chairman Denis Brosnan: “This money means we are effectively funded and ready to go ahead and develop a project that has had too many false dawns in the past. Everybody in Limerick wants to see Opera developed and we will proceed as quickly as planning will allow.”