State investment fund considers Kilkenny regeneration project

Redevelopment of the former Smithwick’s Brewery site on ISIF radar

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s (ISIF) next project could be a major regeneration project in Kilkenny, as the council considers its options for the redevelopment of the former Smithwick’s Brewery site in the city.

The proposed phased redevelopment includes the creation of a dedicated business, enterprise and third-level research facility as part of the first phase.

The fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency, could provide equity and loan finance for the initial phase, and may work with the council on the subsequent phases of the development. Already there have been expressions of interest from Irish and international companies which may look at locating business operations on the site, and third-level institutions interested in the research facilities.

The council is considering ISIF’s response to its request for investment funding.

“Projects of this nature are consistent with the ISIF’s dual mandate to seek both investment return and economic impact from the investments it makes,” said ISIF director Eugene O’Callaghan.

“Significant progress has been made by the council to a point where we believe this project can deliver a commercial return if structured appropriately and make a significant contribution to economic activity and employment in Kilkenny and the surrounding region.”

The ISIF was set up last year, replacing the National Pensions Reserve Fund and tasked with making investments on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in the State.

To date, it has made investment commitments of €1.5 billion