Limerick IT’s (LIT) proposed purchase of a new site at Coonagh Cross, with the support of €3.5m in capital funding from the Department of Education and Skills, has been approved.
This will allow LIT to commence the development of a new higher education campus at Coonagh Cross, potentially leading to the creation of 134 jobs during the construction phase, and a further 100 new full-time jobs when fully operational.
Development of the new campus will take place over a three-year period, with additional funding being provided by the Department of Education and Skills on a phased basis.
The availability of new space at Coonagh will also enable LIT to expand a range of other programmes and to provide much-needed additional sports facilities on the north side of the city.
Jan O’Sullivan, Minister for Education and Skills, commented: “This is very positive news for LIT and for the whole Limerick region. The innovation of our educational institutes has been critical in attracting jobs and investment to Limerick in recent years and this investment will ensure that this model of success goes from strength-to-strength. I would like to acknowledge the vision that LIT has demonstrated in pursuing this development. It will ensure that growing sectors of the economy can find high quality graduates right here in Limerick. It’s good news for students, good news for LIT and good news for Limerick.”
Dr Maria Hinfelaar, president, LIT, said: “This is a game-changing moment for LIT and for Higher Education in the mid-west. This is a critical capital investment made by the state which ensures that LIT will be a key catalyst helping Limerick and the wider Mid-West region to continue attracting further high value technology jobs. It’s an excellent response from government to my call only a few weeks ago that without such investment in third level facilities, we would not have enough graduates to fill all the new jobs created by industry in the region at present.
She continued: “LIT will now be able to almost double its footprint, and to expand course provision in science, technology and engineering to meet the region’s expanding skills needs, given the scale of recent job announcements. We are anticipating that the first students will be studying on the Coonagh campus next year, and when the first phase of development is completed in 2018 we will have created capacity for an additional 550 students. In subsequent phases to 2030 this can be doubled again. The return for the economy in Limerick and the mid-west from this investment is going to be very substantial. Aside from the additional employment created, each cohort of 120 that graduates from Coonagh will add €6 per annum to the economy in salary alone.”