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City defies recession with €750m Leeside project

CORK is to defy the recession by pushing ahead with an ambitious €750m docklands project that promises 5,000 new jobs.

The development on the city's docklands aims to open up the sprawling former River Lee industrial zone to commercial and residential regeneration.

Marina Commercial Park yesterday lodged a planning application with Cork City Council for the project, which is valued at €750m and promises to create 1,200 construction jobs.

When fully operational, the Marina Commercial Park complex aims to support 5,000 full- and part-time jobs.

The project -- on a 24 acre site -- consists of residential, office, retail, cultural, leisure, recreational, community and educational developments.

If approved, the project will create Cork city's first new self-contained urban community within a couple of hundred metres of the city centre.

Project director, Gerry Wycherley, said the docklands area held the key to Cork's future development.

"We are confident that our proposed development will provide significant economic and employment benefit for the people of Cork into the future," he told the Irish Independent.

It is expected the project will gain full planning permission in 2012. Construction will then begin and the project will be developed on a phased basis over 10 years.

Cork's overall docklands development blueprint envisages a regeneration period of up to 20 years.

Cork City Manager, Joe Gavin welcomed the Marina Park move.

"This announcement is a crucial step in realising Cork City Council's vision for the whole docklands area," he said.

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