Planning permission is to be sought by the end of the year to facilitate UCC’s hopes to change a historic city-centre bank to a flagship business school.
Following Cork City Council members’ decision last month to sell the old Cork Savings Bank premises on Lapps Quay to the university for €1.425m, significant works will need to be carried out for its planned transformation. UCC proposes to use it as a centre for ‘executive education’ and research aspects of the Cork University Business School.
Council approval would be required for a change of the building’s use to educational, and for some of the fitout and external changes to the 170-year-old protected structure. Construction consultants to oversee the refurbishment are to be appointed shortly, with a view to lodging a planning application in November. It is hoped to have work begin next May and be completed by the end of 2017.
The building has a three-storey banking hall, offices and a large boardroom, and there are three storeys of offices in the adjoining No 16 Parnell Place which also forms part of the refurbishment plan.
The building will also be required by Cork City Council for up to 12 civic functions each year, a condition of the sale agreement. Standing directly opposite Cork City Hall, the premises ceased to operate as a Permanent TSB branch in 2012 and was bought by the council for a reported €800,000.
There will be a focus on the provision of professional development programmes for local, regional, and national businesses, but the Cork University Business School facility at Lapps Quay is also proposed to facilitate some postgraduate teaching and conferencing. Extra research capacity is also anticipated, with the potential to increase research income from the business school.
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