Tuesday 20 March 2018

Cork complex designed for slice of events market

An artist’s impression of how the proposed conference centre for Cork city centre will look
An artist’s impression of how the proposed conference centre for Cork city centre will look

Ralph Riegel

THE 02 and Odyssey centres are to get a southern rival with a new €50m concert and event centre in the pipeline.

Millionaire developer, Owen O'Callaghan, is seeking planning permission for a 5,000-seat auditorium for Cork city centre.

The events complex -- if sanctioned -- will create 190 full and part-time jobs as well as 300 construction jobs.

Cork has campaigned for more than 20 years for a conference and exhibition centre. Tourism groups warned the lack of such a facility was a glaring infrastructural handicap for the greater Cork region.

The plan envisages an 110,000sq ft building which can cater for events with a seated capacity of 5,000 people -- or exhibitions with a capacity for 7,500 attendees.

The complex will also house restaurants, bars, merchandising and reception areas as well as a spacious office and services centre.

Mr O'Callaghan said he was very confident that the new events centre will ensure Cork is added to the tour list for shows, concerts and exhibitions which currently only include Dublin and Belfast on their Irish itineraries.

"This is a major project for Cork and the Munster region. The absence of a major event centre in the south has been a very big negative," Mr O'Callaghan told the Irish Independent. "Thousands of people travel to Dublin every year for events taking substantial business out of the region.

"Our site at Albert Quay is the premium event centre site in the city and because of its location is easily accessible from all over the country. It will give a huge boost to business in the region and give Cork marketing and promotional opportunities previously not available to it."

Irish Independent

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