‘We need a date put in writing for when development will start.’
That was one of the demands laid out by four groups representing more than 500 businesses in Cork this morning, as they called for ‘certainty, accountability and meaningful communication’ on the long-awaited Cork Events Centre.
Despite a sod turning ceremony taking place on the Beamish & Crawford site three years ago, no further work has been carried out.
Meanwhile, costs have soared from €53m to almost €80m.
— Cork Event Centre* (@CorkEventCentre) August 17, 2016
Now, members of the Cork Business Association (CBA), Irish Hotels Federation
Cork (IHF), Vintners Federation Cork (VFI) and Restaurant Association Cork (RAI) have joined forces to ask that the development of the 6,000 capacity multi-purpose venue begins immediately.
‘It’s time to deliver’
“The process has dragged out and at this stage the Government needs to deliver on this project, by resolving all interdepartmental issues and ensuring that the Developer BAM and operator Live Nation also deliver on their end.” read a statement released by the group.
The associations warned any further stalling would have a detrimental impact on several industries and the local economy.
“Hoteliers, publicans, restaurateurs and businesses are investing heavily in the region because of the potential that the city holds. But return on that investment very much depends on the events centre coming to fruition.” read the statement.
“More than 1,500 new bedrooms are already in development or in the pipeline for Cork City, which would provide a 50% increase on the number of existing rooms currently available. In addition, there are 4,000 AirBnB units now in Cork and additional summer lettings will also be offered at the new student accommodation being built.
“Whilst this is great news for the city, as it would cater for a significant increase in visitors and generate many local jobs, the increase in bedroom provision could over-saturate the market if the events centre does not get underway soon.”
The group added, “As Ireland’s Second City, it should be a priority that we have these facilities. We need a date put in writing for when development will start, accountability of the process and clear communication around timelines. We need to know that this is happening. Certainty is better than uncertainty and an outcome needs to be communicated either way.”