Vacant shopping centre bought by university for €8m as city campus

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A vacant Dunnes Stores shopping centre in Limerick is to be redeveloped into a modern city- centre third-level college campus. The University of Limerick (UL) has purchased the reported “eyesore” building for €8m.

The decision to acquire the 5,535sq m site off Sarsfield Bridge was sanctioned by UL’s governing authority. The site had been idle for the past few years.

Announcing the investment, Des Fitzgerald, the university’s president, said: “I am very happy to have the full support of the UL governing authority in our commitment to bring UL closer to the city centre.

“I am also very pleased to have the opportunity to revitalise a site in the city that has been lying vacant for so long.

“It is fitting that UL’s presence in the city will be on the waterfront, mirroring our magnificent riverside campus just 4km away,” Mr Fitzgerald noted.

“The UL City Campus will aim to bring together law, business, and entrepreneurship in technology, and create a hub for developing and supporting enterprises in the city.

“It will allow for the further development of existing collaborations with the practitioner base in business, law, education, health, and the growing number of technology companies,” he added.

Mayor of Limerick Cllr James Collins described the university’s move as “significant” for the local economy.

“This will remove one of the biggest eyesores in the city centre and replace it with a new riverside city centre campus for UL.

“Today’s decision will be a game-changer for Limerick, the University of Limerick, and for businesses.”

It is expected that in excess of 2,000 students will be based at the hub when operational.

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