There will be a wave of fresh investment in Cork once the long-mooted event centre is finally built to host events of the size of Dublin's Pendulum Summit, business leaders have said.
Cork publican and businessman Benny McCabe, owner of the Bodega and other city centre bars, said there were many like him "just waiting to pull the trigger" on new investment once the event centre was built on the South Main Street site after years of stalled progress.
Hailing Pendulum Summit founder Frankie Sheahan as an "inspirational figure", Mr McCabe said the 7,000-strong attendance over two days in Dublin could be replicated in Cork with a flagship event centre of its own.
Mr McCabe, who had 24 staff in attendance at the event over two days, said his planned distillery on Cornmarket Street was contingent on the event centre being built.
"What Frankie and Pendulum have done for that area of Dublin is truly phenomenal. How many events could sell out two days in January? The economic impact cannot be understated.
"It looks like we finally have lift-off for the event centre, and when we do, I think we will see a wave of investment in the arts and business in Cork. Major investors are waiting to see when the event centre will happen. All they are doing is waiting to pull the trigger, which will bring many new jobs and talent to Cork."
The annual event's lineup this year includes prominent Brexit campaigner and former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Hollywood star Colin Farrell, all-time great comedian and actor John Cleese, legendary Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody and television personality Ruby Wax, as well as a host of business coaches and speakers.