The Government has sanctioned a €30m grant to help fund the GAA’s ambitious €70m regeneration of Cork’s flagship Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium.
The investment is part of a €200m stimulus package signed off on by the Cabinet.
The stadium grant, from the Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport, follows 18 months of engagement between Cork County Board officers and government party figures.
County Board chairman Bob Ryan welcomed the news: “This is just the impetus we need to get this important project going. This is stimulus funding which will help deliver a state-of-the-art stadium for the region, and which will ultimately create jobs and provide a return to the exchequer.”
Cork City Council last month granted planning permission for the long-awaited redevelopment project, which will see the creation of a 45,000-seater stadium and a centre of excellence.
The project is set to create up to 400 jobs and provide a €22m boost to the local economy during the construction phase.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the stadium revamp was important for Cork.
“It is important both in terms of providing top-class facilities for all those involved in Cork GAA, but also ensuring that Páirc Uí Chaoimh becomes a premium, modern sports venue.
“Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the broader project will also play an important role in the development of a Marina Park that is being planned and financed by the city council.
“A provision of €30m from the exchequer will help to progress this project with the balance being funded by the GAA.”
The stadium funds are part of a €200m infrastructure stimulus package agreed by Cabinet. It includes €50m extra for social housing, €50m for road works and rural transport, and €22m for the 1916 commemorations.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin denied the announcement was an election “slush fund” ahead of voting next week. He said it came about following the sale of State assets, including the ESB’s €44m sale of a share in a Spanish power plant in recent days.
The deadline for appeals to An Bord Pleanála over Páirc Uí Chaoimh plans passes next week, after which a decision on a construction start date will be made.
It is designed to integrate with the proposed Marina Park to be developed by the city council.
The Government supported the development of the Aviva Stadium to the tune of €191m, and Croke Park’s estimated €285m regeneration to the tune of almost €140m.
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