Údarás na Gaeltachta announced today (03/12/20) that the organisation has signed contracts for the preparatory site works for the redevelopment of the Coláiste Íosagáin campus in Baile Bhuirne, Co. Cork which will commence next week.
Contractors have been appointed by Údarás to begin essential site works on the campus which will continue until the first quarter of 2021 and which lay the ground works, so to speak, for the substantive next steps of the overall development which will begin work in the first half of next year. The appointed team includes Main Contractors, civil and structural engineers, quantity surveyors, building services engineers along with ecologists and archaeologists who will undertake this aspect of the site works commencing next week. These works represent important and necessary steps vital to seeing the vision for the campus come to fruition.
In recent months, Cork County Council granted permission to Údarás na Gaeltachta for a Regional Development Hub on the impressive Coláiste Íosagáin site in Baile Bhuirne in the Múscraí Gaeltacht to facilitate enterprise opportunities. To that end, a tendering process was established subsequently to appoint contractors to undertake the redevelopment of the historical buildings on the site. Tenders will be issued early in the new year and it is hoped a contractor will be appointed and that redevelopment works on the buildings will begin in the first half of the new year. At that time these necessary site works will have been completed which will lead the way for the major redevelopment work on this historical location which will be an exemplary business, culture, language and heritage facility for the region.
In 2019, €180,000 was approved for Údarás na Gaeltachta under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to develop a masterplan for the campus outlining the social, cultural and economic benefits for the local and surrounding region. In addition, €2.7m was approved under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to enable a Regional Development Hub to be established. The purpose of this Regional Development Hub will be to create additional employment opportunities and diversify and strengthen the enterprise base locally.
The funding has been granted under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund delivered through Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta will also provide funding of €1m for the project. Údarás na Gaeltachta will develop 1,835 sq. mtrs. of flexible, fibre-connected enterprise space as part of the gteic Gaeltacht digital hub network and which will be co-located with Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Regional Office. Specialist training and business development supports will be available from the centre which has a target of supporting the creation of 200 jobs in coming years. In addition, an operations manager and a training manager will be employed as part of the project and it is hoped that the recruitment process for the operations manager will begin in the next few weeks.
Anna Ní Ghallachair Údarás na Gaeltachta Board Chairperson said:
‘On behalf of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta I warmly welcome the news that works are to begin on the Coláiste Íosagáin site next week. Coláiste Íosagáin is a gem in the Múscraí Gaeltacht heritage landscape which will greatly enhance Irish language and cultural activities in the area, as the Campus did at its peak. We are all very much looking forward to seeing the opportunities this redevelopment will provide. We are thankful for the cooperation of Government Departments and other organisations on this project as well as the determination of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s executives who first saw the potential of this project some years ago.’
Údarás na Gaeltachta’s CEO Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh added:
‘We are pleased to have the opportunity to now begin works on Coláiste Íosagáin. The project will provide many opportunities for the area when it is complete with high quality work spaces and highspeed broadband connectivity. It will be a valued facility and a beacon of hope for the region in the coming years and will be central to the organisation’s new strategy which is being developed for the 2021-2025 period. The regional hub and campus will add greatly to life in the area.’
Ministers Heather Humphreys and Michael Creed announced the €2.7m funding in 2019 for Seirbhísí Forbartha Gnó (DAC), a designated activity company incorporated by Údarás na Gaeltachta to develop, implement and manage a Regional Development Hub in support of enterprise creation on the well know landmark site of the former Coláiste Íosagáin. Enterprise Ireland’s Southern Regional Office, under the direction of Martin Corkery, Regional Director with Enterprise Ireland, will administer the funding scheme and the project will be undertaken as a collaborative venture with regional institutional stakeholders who act as project partners with Údarás na Gaeltachta such as Cork County Council, UCC, CIT, Cork ETB, Regional Skills South West, South West Gnó Skillnet and Enterprise Ireland.