Paul O'Connell announces €10m interactive 'rugby experience' visitor centre
A €10m high tech visitor centre completely dedicated to rugby is to be opened in Limerick city.
The digital interactive 30,000 square foot exhibition space - for both Irish and international rugby fans - will open its doors in September 2019.
Monday morning's announcement was made by Paul O'Connell, who will head the advisory board of the new centre. The board will also include leading figures from the world of sport, business and tourism.
"The objective of the visitor centre is to operate as a fitting tribute to the sport of rugby across the world and in so doing, recognise every country in which it is played through the highest quality interactive digital experience," the former Munster, Ireland and Lions Captain said.
The ‘rugby experience’, which will be located at 40-42 O’Connell Street and No 1 Cecil Street, Limerick, is intended to attract tourists from all over the world with dramatic 4D interactive galleries and exhibits celebrating iconic rugby moments.
"Limerick has a strong and historic rugby tradition which is internationally recognised," said O'Connell and it is hoped global strategic partnerships will be developed to further authenticate the experience.
Initial investment of €10m for the centre comes from JP McManus who hopes it will "encourage more private investment to the city centre renewal programme".
Works are expected to start on the site in early 2018 and could generate up to 100 jobs for local workers during the construction phase. Permanent positions will be advertised after the completion of the project.
The planning process is set to commence in the coming months with works anticipated to advance on site in early 2018 and could generate up to 100 city centre jobs locally during the construction phase with permanent positions created after completion.