CABINET is expected to make a decision on additional state funding sought for Cork city’s long-awaited events centre “within a number of weeks”, the Tánaiste has said.
The consortium that won the tender for the centre, BAM and Live Nation, was initially expected to benefit from a €20m state aid package, which was later increased to €50m and then to €57m.
It was revealed at a meeting of Cork City Council in December that the project would require an additional funding allocation following the completion of detailed design.
“I’m hoping that we will be in a position within a number of weeks to make a final decision on that [the request for additional funding],” Tánaiste Micheál Martin said, speaking to reporters in Cork on Monday.
“The council has sent up the most recent due diligence report in respect of the most recent submission which entails a significant increase on what was already an increased budget allocated by Government.
“Correctly, a due diligence exercise was initiated then on foot of that and then it has come to Government in the last number of weeks so we will give that due consideration,” he continued.
Mr Martin said he did not want to “preempt” the decision of Government in respect of additional state funding but said the events centre could bring a major boost to the city’s economy if it were to be developed.
“I don’t want to preempt the decision of Government, but Government have been very supportive of this project from the get-go, successive Governments have, and on the last occasion it came before us, which was around 2020/21, we okayed a very significant increase on what was then the original figure that Government had offered.
“We just recently got this report, we have to give it due diligence.
“The events centre is a project that has the potential to bring in a lot more visitors to the city and the county in years to come.” Mr Martin would not be drawn as to the additional state funding being sought for the centre, which is to be built on the site of the former Beamish & Crawford brewery on South Main St.
“The Cabinet will decide on that. I’m going to go into the additional costs specifically right now, “ he said.