CORK County Council has given Teagasc the green light for a multimillion euro expansion to its research and training facility at Moorepark in Fermoy.
In October of last year the state owned company lodged an application with the local authority seeking permission for a new two-storey building at the Fermoy complex.
The application made provision for additional office space, new research and educational facilities and associated ancillary accommodation.
The project, a joint collaboration between Teagasc and FBD Insurance, will also included the removal of existing prefabricated research, educational buildings and office buildings, and the expansion of its car-parking facilities.
At the time the head of Moorepark's Animal and Grassland programme, Pat Dillon, told The Corkman that expansion was part of an ambitious plan to meet anticipated growth within the agriculture sector after the abolition of the milk quota system in 2015.
"There are three key drivers behind expansion at Moorepark, the first being the fact that almost half of our personnel are currently operating out of prefabricated buildings. This is a positive thing as it shows how the centre has expanded in recent years," said Mr Dillon.
"The second factor is that over the past two years Moorepark has been identified as a leading agricultural research centre. This new extension will help cement that reputation," he added.
Mr Dillon said the final driver behind the expansion was the fact that Teagasc is also playing a greater role in education, through increased collaborations with third level institutions.
"We are heavily involved with both the Dairy Business degree and the Farm Management diploma at UCC and well as having significant ties with UCD," said Mr Dillon.
He pointed out that expanding the Moorepark complex would put it in an ideal position to cope with the expected influx of young people into the agriculture sector post 2015.
"Degree and diploma students from UCC spend six-months at Moorepark availing of our research facilities. This will help us to expand our facilities and help develop Moorepark into a key educational and research facility for the Irish agriculture industry," said Mr Dillon.