Ambitious plans for a state-of-the-art mental health hospital and college campus in Dublin’s north inner city were given by final go-ahead today.
Developers claim more than 4,000 construction jobs will be created over the next 10 years during the major infrastructure project on the grounds of St Brendan’s Hospital in Grangegorman.
The €486m scheme centres on a new home for one of the largest third-level institutions in the country, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), which is currently spread across the city centre on 39 separate sites.
Chairman of Grangegorman Development Agency John Fitzgerald said the project was vital, not only for DIT and the Health Service Executive (HSE), but also for the north-west inner city and the whole capital.
“This is a project which will greatly improve the quality of health and education provision in the city while at the same time provide a vital boost to the surrounding neighbourhoods and to the Irish construction industry. It is a real value for money project,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
An initial 450 construction jobs will be created as work begins on a new 54-bed mental health facility, costing €20m in the coming weeks. It will later replace the ageing St Brendan’s Hospital.
Plans to consolidate DIT on a single site should begin by 2012, resulting in 22,000 students and 2,000 staff in Grangegorman using a range of education, research, technology and sports facilities, cultural activities, a science park and student accommodation.
The site will also boast a 400-pupil primary school to be run by Dublin 7 Educate Together.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Tánaiste Mary Coughlan launched the project, which will employ a further 1,000 people in retail, administration and maintenance when it is complete.
Mr Cowen said it was by any standards a huge project.
“The redevelopment of Grangegorman will transform this part of Dublin into a dynamic centre of academic and educational excellence,” he said.
“It will provide local residents with access to new sports and recreational facilities. It will provide enhanced health facilities. A further benefit is that the new campus will bring significant upgrading of transport facilities in this area of North Dublin.”