A vacant Dunnes Stores shopping centre in Limerick city is to be redeveloped into a modern city-centre third level college campus after the University of Limerick (UL) swooped in to purchase the “eyesore” building for €8m.
The decision to purchase the 5,535 sq m site off Sarsfield Bridge, which has been idle for the past few years, was sanctioned by the UL Governing Authority.
Announcing the investment, Dr Des Fitzgerald, UL 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 water front mirroring our magnificent riverside campus just four kilometres away,” Dr Fitzgerald explained.
“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 move as “significant news” 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’s expected over 2,000 students will be based at the hub.