Clare County Council seeking approval to designate the University of Limerick campus

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Brown Thomas
The main building at the University of Limerick

Clare County Council is seeking Government approval to designate the University of Limerick (UL) campus in County Clare and the hinterland of the campus as an economic development zone with the capacity to generate 3,500 jobs.

Elected Members and the Clare County Council Economic Development SPC today backed the South Clare Economic Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) proposal, which has been targeted and zoned in successive Clare County Development Plans.

The Local Authority says the SDZ will be Europe’s first 21st Century  University Town providing for a full range of  living, working, amenity, social, cultural and recreational spaces integrated witha range of University facilities, including teaching, lear-ning and research.  The SDZ also will include the redevelopment and integration of the Errinagh canal, thereby providing the final inland waterway link between Lough Erne in County Fermanagh and Limerick City as well as the Shannon Estuary.

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Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tom McNamara, commented, “I welcome the fact that Clare County Council is working in close collaboration with the University of Limerick and other agencies in the delivery of an Economic Strategic Development Zone for South Clare.”

“The establishment of a SDZ at this strategic location will be a catalyst for the further economic and social development of Ireland in line with national and regionalpolicy, including the ‘National Planning Framework –  Ireland 2040’ and ‘Limerick 2030 – An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick’,” said Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council.

The SDZ site comprises the land area located north and east of the existing University campus in County Clare, bounded on its north by the corridor of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road and on its west by the Errinagh Canal.

University of Limerick President, Dr Des Fitzgerald, commented, “University of Limerick is delighted to support Clare County Council’s application to Government for the establishment of this Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) adjacent to the north campus of the university. UL works closely with both Clare County Council and Limerick City and County Council to fulfil its strategic development responsibilities in the Mid West. This designation would position UL as the first university to participate in an economic SDZ, complementing our longstanding commitment to the economic development of our region.”

Clare County Council will submit a formal application to Government for the designation of the South Clare Economic Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) in the coming weeks. If the application is successful, a detailed masterplan for the area will be developed by the Local Authority, in conjunction with UL, local landowners and other stakeholders.

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