European Investment Bank commits to lending €85m to Limerick City and County Council.
The money will be spent on transforming the 1.62 hectare Opera Site in the city centre into an urban centre office development, with the capacity for 3,000 jobs.
This is the first EIB finance to be made available for a local authority programme in Ireland since 1993.
The EIB finance contract for the 25 year loan was signed at the Council’s Corporate Headquarters in Limerick today by EIB Vice President, Andrew McDowell and Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council.
Mr McDowell says this is a good move for job creation.
He said:"The European Investment Bank is pleased to support this impressive and ambitious investment that with transform the city of Limerick over the coming years.
This will create thousands of new jobs, renovate vacant buildings to provide much needed office space and regenerate historic buildings in Ireland’s third city, as well as reducing energy bills for public buildings."
Stephen Keary, Mayor of Limerick City and County Councillor says the funding is helping to transform the city.
He said: “Limerick has come a huge distance over the past five years or so but this funding is going to make sure we can continue this remarkable journey which has seen the city become Ireland’s greatest urban success story of the decade.
"The city is transforming at a rate faster than any of us could have anticipated but thanks to this EIB funding, it’s not just a momentary investment; our growth is going to be sustained.”
Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Conn Murray believes that Limerick is breaking new ground.
He said: “This is another day that benchmarks the new Limerick that is emerging, one that is breaking new ground at a national level time and time again and this record funding from the EIB is the latest evidence of that.
"This commitment by the bank is a statement of the confidence and sense of ambition that Limerick has today. It also very much validates the step we took to create Limerick Twenty Thirty, the first local authority special purpose vehicle of its kind in Ireland.”
The 1.62 hectare Opera Site was acquired by Limerick City and County Council in 2011, after a planned redevelopment under private ownership failed to materialise.
Limerick Twenty Thirty will also develop the eight acre Cleeves site on the northern bank of the River Shannon and has commenced master-planning, which will be followed by the planning process, for the 200 acre Mungret College residential site on the outskirts of the city, which will have the capacity for up to 850 units.
The European Investment Bank has provided more than €100bn for urban investment over the last 5 years.
This includes support for new urban development, sustainable transport and social housing as well as improving water, energy, health and education infrastructure in cities across Europe and around the world.