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.”

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