THE UNIVERSITY OF Limerick (UL) is to create over 1,000 jobs over the next five years as part of a significant €224 million construction project.
The plan includes 12 separate developments which include a new city centre campus, a new research centre at University Hospital Limerick and a dedicated team training centre for Munster Rugby.
The plan is to be partly-funded by a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the remainder to be paid for by a number of sources including donations, state grants and commercial activities.
UL say that the new jobs will consist of 290 full-time positions and 710 construction jobs over the course of the building project which will run until 2018.
Details of the plan include:
- A doubling of the current library facilities and the addition of a specialist climate controlled area.
- A second 25m pool incorporating a diving pool.
- A new training centre from the Munster rugby team and 6 flood-lit grass training pitches.
- Student centre with meeting rooms, shops, a cinema and concert facilities.
- The expansion of science facilities in a number of institutes.
President of UL Professor Don Barry says that the plan includes the total addition of 50,000 square metres across both sport and academia. “UL is committed to making a major contribution to the Limerick 2030 Economic and Spatial Plan which will allow us all to work in partnership to deliver a true renaissance of Limerick,” he said.
City centre projects
UL also say that they have begun looking at into their plan to build student accommodation in Limerick city centre. The off-campus capital developments are valued at €62 million and represent 30 per cent of the overall investment of the development plan.
The initiative is currently planned to provide accommodation for 400 students in Limerick City but this may rise to 1,000 subject to a feasibility study to be undertaken with the Higher Education authority.
The EIB loan was formally witnessed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan TD who said upon agreement of the deal that he “sees great opportunities for future EIB funded projects in Ireland”.
I know that this view is shared by the European Investment Bank. Both the bank and my department have redoubled their efforts in recent years to enhance engagement and increase lending for crucial investment in a range of sectors in Ireland.
The EIB says that it has provided more than €559 million for long-term investment in Irish education over the last five years.