Plans by Carlow IT for the development of a third level campus in Wexford Town moved a giant step closer last night (Monday) when members of Wexford County Council unanimously adopted a motion to rezone a site on the Newtown Road for educational purposes.
The council's Director of Services for economic development and planning, Tony Larkin told councillors: 'We will bring this into effect as soon as possible.'
Proposals to develop the 35-acre site into a full-scale third level campus have been in progress for some time, following the decision in 2016 of the Higher Education Authority to grant permission to the Institute of Technology to acquire a greenfield site on the Newtown Road, close to County Hall.
The creation of a Technological University for the Southeast by Carlow IT and Waterford IT has been identified by Wexford County Council as an urgent priority as the council seeks to attract further job opportunities to County Wexford and improve the county's overall economic performance.
The council's communications manager David Minogue said last night's resolution will be welcomed as evidence of continued support for the project and offers reassurance that plans to develop Wexford's first purpose-built third level campus remain firmly on track and are proceeding as planned.
Since its opening in 1995, the current Carlow IT Wexford Campus has been based at the St Peter's site on Summerhill Road, leasing the premises from the Diocese of Ferns, and more recently, opened its School of Art and Design, on Hill Street, in Wexford town. Last week, college management at Carlow IT said the purchase of the greenfield site on the Newtown Road was imminent.
This followed the announcement in the the Dail by Minister for Education Richard Bruton of his approval for the project. Pricing and contracts have been agreed by Carlow IT for the sale of the land and the sale is progressing through the legal process.
'The Institute has been assured that the final sign-off by the vendor is imminent,' said a Carlow IT spokesperson. The achievement of a third level campus in Wexford is major priority for the Council which is eager to attract high-value jobs to the town.