Tánaiste says decision on extra Events Centre funding will allow for early 2019 construction start

The Cork Business Association welcomes today’s comments attributed to An Tánaiste Simon Coveney indicating that clarification on the financing aspect of the Cork Events Centre from the Department of Heritage and the Gaelteacht was imminent. This will pave the way for a funding application to the Department of Expenditure and Reform. Mr Coveney stated he was confident that the funding issue will be resolved in 2018 and we will see the long awaited commencement of construction in 2019.
The Cork Business Association has in recent times declined from commenting on the subject of the Events Centre as we were not in possession of all the facts. This project is so vital to Cork both socially, culturally and commercially that any commentary must be both informed and accurate.
We fully acknowledge the complexity of the issue and the many stakeholders involved all working we believe to achieve a positive outcome. We also wish to acknowledge the ongoing work and deep personal commitment of Minister Simon Coveney on this issue. 

Legal agreement on public funding for the Cork events centre will be finalised in the coming weeks with construction starting as soon as early 2019, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.

Wednesday will mark 1,000 days since the official sod turning on the €75m project but City Hall officials and the Chief State Solicitor’s office are still locked in talks over how much in public funds can be allocated to the project without compromising the tender agreement.

High-level meetings on legal advice took place last week and another meeting is planned next week before the Department of Heritage and the Gaeltacht can be given the green light to make an application for funding to the Department of Expenditure and Reform.

Mr Coveney said he was confident we will have clarity on this project in 2018 and that we will see the start of the construction of the project in early 2019.

“This loose commentary that nothing is happening on the events centre – nothing could be further from the truth,” he told the Evening Echo.

“A lot has happened. A lot of business meetings have taken place, a lot of board meetings and financial considerations have taken place and a lot of financial and legal advice has been needed and a second planning application isn’t fully through the process.

The then Taoiseach Enda Kenny turning the sod on the Cork Events Centre in February 2016.Pictured were Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O'Leary; An Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney; CEO of Live Nation Ireland Mike Adamson; and BAM Ireland CEO Theo Cullinane. Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The then Taoiseach Enda Kenny turning the sod on the Cork Events Centre in February 2016. Pictured were Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O’Leary; An Tánaiste Joan Burton, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney; CEO of Live Nation Ireland Mike Adamson; and BAM Ireland CEO Theo Cullinane. Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

“In the meantime, an archaeological dig that has cost the guts of €500,000 has taken place and a detailed planning and cost estimate for the internals has been done.“I have taken a lot of stick for this politically and online and local radio. I don’t mind that and I can understand the frustration but I would like people to know that this is a real project that is very complicated and has changed as time has gone on.

“Let’s not let this project be undermined by negativity that is not informed. We are close to finalising the legality of how much money we can put in and when we have that, Live Nation and BAM will be wanting to move forward fairly quickly. It will take a few more weeks.”

“A number of businesses want this and a number of hotels want to be built on the back of this, while more want to expand. It is a 6,000 events centre that will probably be full four or five nights a week. It’s going to make a huge difference to the commercial activity of the city which is why I’m so committed to it, as are City Hall.”

Shop In The City

  • Cork Business Association and Cork City Council launch plans to promote shopping in Cork City
  • Cork City Shopping social media channels launched
  • New ecommerce, business training, and tourism initiatives announced
  • Opportunity for retailers to work together to drive footfall


The Cork Business Association (CBA) together with Cork City Council have launched new retail social media channels to promote shopping in Cork City, offering an opportunity for retailers to work collectively to drive footfall to the city centre.


The ‘Cork City Shopping’ channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will highlight the city’s fantastic range of boutiques, high street stores and quirky shops.  They will also promote the array of cafes, bars, restaurants, cultural venues and events, which are all within walking distance of each other, making shopping in Cork City so unique!


The CBA is also working alongside the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Cork Branch to create a brochure for hotel rooms that will offer visitors discounts and incentives to shop in the City.  The aim is to launch the brochure in the first quarter of 2019.


Having recently relocated to a new premise on No. 5 South Mall, the CBA is now even more at the beating heart of retail and hospitality in Cork city.  Businesses are encouraged to pop in if they would like to discuss a business matter or if they have any issues requiring support or advice.  The new office also offers a free hot desk for members and the boardroom is available to book for all CBA members.


The Cork Business Association is also partnering with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) on a CBA led initiative to drive awareness and information on e-commerce and business innovation.  Expert advice will be given to businesses on a one-to-one basis from their South Mall office, and information workshops will also run over the coming months in the areas of innovation, social media, marketing, business exchange (encouraging owners or their staff to do an exchange case), studies of best practice in retail, how to change with the times, and effective networking. Contact the CBA office for more information.


Commenting, Chief Executive of Cork Business Association, Lawrence Owens, said,

“Cork Business Association has always offered personal one-to-one advisory and support services to retailers and the hospitality trade, in particular in the areas of infrastructure, planning and transport, flood defence, security and social issues, graffiti, garda liaison, connection with relevant departments in Cork City Council, tourism development and input into events that impact the city.  We also update members on a regular basis on what’s happening in the city in our weekly email. However, we recognise the need to constantly review how effective our communication is with our members and I am confident these new initiatives will help us improve our messaging. We also run a number of awards including the Cork Better Building Awards and upcoming Cork Business of the Year Awards.”


“In more recent years, we have actively developed campaigns to help drive much needed footfall into the city centre and are delighted to now launch a number of new initiatives this week, in partnership with Cork City Council.”


“One such initiative is our new Cork City Shopping social media channels.  I would encourage all retailers to follow these channels and to share their content with our team.  The aim is to attract shoppers from the Cork surrounds and further afield.”


“Our partnership with LEO will also help the retail sector in Cork to go to the next level.  It is a sector that is in constant flux and the challenge to match the speed the sector is evolving, can often be the difference between success and failure”.


Helping businesses to understand the need to embrace change and stay up to date with shifting tastes and trends, whether it’s exploring new technology and buying habits or knowing what is going on around them, is crucial. Essentially, businesses must adapt to suit their customers needs, not just in terms of products, but in how their customer wants to shop and when they wish to shop”.
Also commenting, Paul McGuirk, City Centre Co-ordinator for Cork City Council, said,

“We recently ran a significant marketing campaign in association with the National Transport Authority to support businesses in Cork City Centre.  We are delighted to now partner with Cork Business Association on their exciting social media campaign that will be driven from the ground up. It’s a fantastic opportunity for retailers in the city to work together to promote how unique the shopping experience is in Cork City Centre. With the city’s broad range of festivals and events continuing for the remainder of the year, the atmosphere really is second to none.”


The ‘Cork City Shopping’ social media channels are available on Facebook (@corkcityshopping), Instagram (@corkcityshopping) and Twitter (@corkshopping).


There’s an opportunity to win a gorgeous Fiorelli handbag from Kilkenny Shop for one lucky person who signs up over the coming week.


For more information or to send information on your business to share, contact corkcityshopping@gmail.com or info@corkbusiness.ie.