THE decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant Limerick Institute of Technology full planning permission for construction of a new engineering-focussed campus at Coonagh on the Northside of the city has been broadly welcomed.
In effect, the decision has given the green light for an entirely new kind of state-of-the-art higher education campus in Limerick, and unlocks a €14 million Phase One capital investment. The development will lead to 134 construction jobs and 100 full time jobs when fully completed.
The first students are expected to be on campus at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, with 800 staff and students on the LIT Coonagh campus by the end of the 2019/2020 academic year.
Commenting on the decision, LIT President, Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “We are delighted to be able to proceed with the development of the new campus now. This is a critical piece of infrastructure, not just for LIT, but for Limerick and the region.
“This decision is a win for everyone, and underlines our commitment to the coherent development of Limerick city and the region through our 2030 Campus masterplan.
“In order to strengthen the economic growth that the region has experienced in recent times, it is essential to provide the research and educational infrastructure that such growth is predicated on. The LIT Coonagh campus does just this, and enables us to produce graduates with the very specific skills needed to sustain the region’s economic growth.
“This project represents another step in the re-imagining of the Northside of Limerick city. It helps to shift the gravity on this side of the city. This is the first major piece of infrastructure on the Northern Distributor Road, now becoming Limerick’s Knowledge Corridor, with LIT Coonagh at one end and the National Technology Park at the other.
“I would like to acknowledge the work of An Bord Pleanala and Limerick City and County Council on this project, as well as the continued perseverance of LIT’s staff.
“This decision gives us the certainty we need to provide exemplary state of the art education and research space for students, staff and industry in the region”.
Government Spokesperson in the Seanad on Education and Skills & Member of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills Senator Maria Byrne has also welcomed the announcement that planning permission for the €14 million LIT Coonagh Campus has been granted.
“The granting of full planning permission is a very significant step forward in advancing this important project. The LIT Coonagh Campus will be for education and research in engineering and will become a centre of excellence with state-of-the-art engineering facilities. As a former member of the Limerick Institute of Technology’s Governing Body having served for 10 years, I am delighted for both the staff and students of LIT and the greater Limerick area that work can finally commence on the LIT Coonagh Campus.
“It has been a phenomenal week for the Limerick Institute of Technology . First with the announcement that LIT is to receive €578,277 in capital funding for a Electrical Apprenticeship Programme and now planning permission for the €14 million Coonagh Campus has been granted’
‘The job creation this project will bring will be of huge benefit to Limerick & Mid-West Region. I understand the construction of the Coonagh Campus is expected to create 134 new jobs and once built it is expected the campus will employ a further 100 when fully operational”.