Coveney confident €50m Cork event centre will proceeed

Lack of progress has been cause for concern but Minister says clear timeframe will emerge shortly

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has expressed confidence that a €50 million events centre for Cork will proceed and that a clearer timeframe for the project will emerge in the coming weeks.

“I said a number of weeks ago that we needed to go through a process of much more accurate costing assessment of the internal finishing and building of the events centre.

“That process is nearly concluded now and, when it is, we will have a much clearer picture,” he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny turned the sod on the site of the new events centre at the former Beamish & Crawford site last February just before the election, but little progress has been made since then with developer BAM Construction applying to amend its planning permission for the site.


The original plan for the site, which was owned by Heineken Ireland, involved the construction of a 6,000 seat events centre as well as the development of a 360 degree viewing tower and a tourist centre in the former brewery's Counting House fronting on to South Main Street.

The original plan also the included a seven-screen cinema complex, artists’ studios, retail units, offices and student accommodation in the complex but in September, BAM submitted a revised plan with a reduction in the amount of office and retail space in favour of more student accommodation.

The lack of progress on the site has caused much concern on Leeside as the state has committed €12 million and Cork City Council has committed a further €8 million to kick-start the development.

Last week, the Cork Business Association called for a statement on the project.

Speaking to Cork's 96FM, Mr Coveney said that he was confident matters would become clearer over the coming weeks and he remained confident that the events centre would become a reality for Cork and the centre piece of a regenerated Brewery Quarter around South Main Street.

“I am very involved in this project. I am still as committed to it as I have ever been. This is a site at the heart of the city that is going to be transformed,” he said.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times