Property company looks to create 850 jobs with €100m Cork plan

Rioja Estates, a UK-based company, has made a formal submission to local authority

A property company has announced plans to build a €100 million shopping and tourism destination in Cork, which it claims will create more than 850 direct jobs and draw 220,000 additional tourists to the region annually.

Rioja Estates, a UK-based company, has made a formal submission to the County Development Plan 2014.

A site for the “tourist outlet village” has been identified and secured at Killacloyne, Carrigtwohill, just off the Fota Junction on the N25.

A tourist outlet village is described as “a specialist form of retail and tourist destination that sells heavily discounted products not normally found on the high street, for example end-of-line, seconds and out of season goods”.

They do not offer other services such as banks, building societies, post offices, hairdressers, or dry cleaners.

Rioja Estates said it would undertake a detailed environmental assessment and adopt a sensitive design approach reflecting the opportunities the site presents.

Construction would take about two years, and the company said it was possible it could be open for business by March 2024.

Martin Riordan, former county manager of Cork County Council, said: "It is important that Cork secures this investment opportunity, which will provide an additional tourism and leisure attraction for the region.

“The plan-led approach proposed by the council to guide and attract this type of development to the Cork region is to be welcomed. I believe that without a proper planning framework, this type of development will not be secured for Cork.” Mr Riordan is an adviser to Rioja Estates.*

* This article was edited on December 10th, 2019

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter