Events centre plan in limbo after Live Nation pull-out

Cork city councillors are in the dark about the city’s events centre selection process — following the dramatic withdrawal of global entertainment giant, Live Nation Ireland from thefinal tender stage at the weekend. It is now expected that a final report on the only tender submitted last Friday — the Heineken BAM project earmarked for the former Beamish and Crawford site — will not be ready until the end of the week.

Councillors who attended a briefing in City Hall last night on the history of the process, tried to quiz senior city officials about the implications of the weekend’s developments.

But the officials, who are part of the expert panel overseeing the public procurement process, said they were precluded from discussing any detail of the process while it is ongoing.

And they said they could not discuss the status of the BAM tender amid speculation that it may not be valid without Live Nation Ireland on board.

It had been expected that the panel would issue a final report today — with a chosen developer. The preferred developer is in line to receive a taxpayer-funded incentive package of up to €16m.

But it is understood the entertainment giant, which was due to operate whichever venue got the nod, expressed concerns about certain terms attached to the investment of public money in the project.

A cloud of doubt now hangs over the entire process. It is expected the issue will dominate next Monday’s full council meeting.


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