Massive Limerick investment could create 5,000 jobs in five years
A €500 million investment plan has been announced for Limerick, with backers claiming it has the potential to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years.
As part of the project, council chiefs have set up a company to drive redevelopment of more than 1.4 million square feet of land across four sites in the city.
The Limerick Twenty Thirty Strategic Development DAC (Designated Activity Company) is prioritising the redevelopment of prime real estate into new offices, shops, housing, education and enterprise centres.
The sites - already publicly owned or bought by Limerick City and County Council in recent years - include the Gardens International Office on Henry Street, the Opera Site at Rutland Street, the Cleeves Riverside Campus next to the Shannon at Fernhill and the Troy Studios Film Hub in Castletroy.
Chaired by Denis Brosnan, the project is billed as the single biggest commercial property development programme outside of Dublin.
The company's aim is to put in the required infrastructure in and around the four sites to accelerate inward investment to the city and county by homegrown and foreign-owned businesses.
"I am determined that this company will take up on the brilliant work and huge gains achieved and deliver the type of assets required to attract further transformational inward investment," Mr Brosnan said.
"We are sending a message far and wide, and not least in the window of opportunity for FDI post-Brexit investment, that we are open for business and capable of competing with the best for it."
Limerick's Twenty Thirty company is also the first of its kind created by a council.
Patrick O'Donovan, junior minister and Fine Gael TD for Limerick, said: "The fact that it is plan-led, as distinct from developer-led, will mean the city and county are planned strategically and that the infrastructure and investment is exactly what Limerick needs.
"We are hugely confident regarding delivery as recent years, in particular, have illustrated Limerick's enormous potential."
Limerick City and County Council launched an economic plan three years ago and in that time 7,800 jobs have been created and more than 1.3 billion euro invested in the region.
Council chief executive Conn Murray said the new company will be dedicated to driving investment into the city and county.
"We have created a really attractive investment ecosystem here that is already reaping massive dividends and with Limerick Twenty Thirty we will create state of the art commercial, enterprise, education, retail and residential space that will accelerate the already rapid pace of inward investment," he said.
"Given the opportunity of the post-Brexit space, we will offer a world class, highly competitive English-speaking environment for global companies seeking European locations."