Chamber wants progress on city centre waterfront development

The UL city centre campus on Sarsfield Street is at the centre of controversy for UL

LIMERICK Chamber has urged the University of Limerick to advance its plans to develop a city centre campus on Sarsfield Street and called on Limerick City and County Council to fast-track its masterplan for a world class waterfront development at Arthur’s Quay.

Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan said she hoped UL would deliver on its commitment to increase investment in the city centre campus   and looked forward to its vision being realised at the key site in the waterfront  quarter at the earliest opportunity.

“Our universities are drivers of investment into Limerick and the wider Mid-West region and the business community supports UL’s plans for expansion of academic and research activities.

“€73 million in State funding has been pledged for waterfront development in the city and I would urge that UL and Limerick City and County Council, as well as other stakeholders, work collaboratively and quickly to ensure we get master-planning completed and the project underway as soon as possible.

“We need to approach the waterfront project in a holistic way and UL’s city centre investment plans are a central component of it.”

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Stating that the Chamber noted the university’s plans to have lands on the Clare side of its Castletroy campus designated as an Economic Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), Ms Ryan said they also acknowledged UL’s stated intention to concentrate energies on plans for the former Dunnes Stores property on Sarsfield Street.

“This has the potential to transform a city centre eye-sore into one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the waterfront, ensuring it achieves its potential to significantly contribute to the attractiveness of Limerick as a place to live, work and visit.”

Reacting to concerns about access to the proposed SDZ, she continued “Limerick Chamber believes plans for the University of Limerick’s expansion on its Clare side must be supported by the necessary infrastructure including the Limerick Northern Distributor Road, in order to avoid further congestion at the Technological Park in Castletroy.

“We welcome the two-year consultation process that would accompany an SDZ designation. This will afford all of us passionate about making the best possible future for the city and region the opportunity to ensure we get all these parts right.”