The Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton TD and Minister for Finance & Public Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD have announced that construction will begin immediately on the next extensive development on the DIT Grangegorman campus.
The Eriugena consortium (led by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd, and Irish construction firm John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd, FCC Construction Ireland Ltd and Sodexo Ireland Ltd) are ready to commence work on the site this week. Over the next 24 months, the number of jobs created on-site will range between 500 and 1300 each month.
Welcoming the announcement by Minister Bruton, the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said DIT has been working towards this next stage of the Grangegorman development for quite some time. "Today's announcement is of great significance for current and future DIT students, ensuring they can look forward to the best possible educational experience. The development of the Grangegorman campus has the power to add new life and opportunity – culturally and economically - in the heart of Dublin City. The commitment of colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills and the NDFA, combined with the support of Minister Paschal Donohoe and the European Investment Bank, has now enabled the plans for the campus to be realised and we look forward to working with the consortium to ensure the best possible result for DIT and for the city."
Professor Norton said the development will lead to the consolidation of DIT in Grangegorman within the next four years and, building on existing links in the City, will play a significant role in the creation of Ireland’s first Technological University with partners IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght. Thanking colleagues in DIT and in the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA), he said: “We can now prepare in earnest for this next phase, with our students and colleagues in Sciences and Health, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Arts and Tourism getting ready to move to Grangegorman in time for September 2020.”
Welcoming the signing, theMinister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said: “Today’s signing represents a very significant step forward in realising the Government’s ambitions for the Grangegorman development and in delivering a consolidated, state of the art campus for DIT. This significant investment in higher education infrastructure will also advance Ireland’s ambitions to provide the best education and training service in Europe by 2026.”
“This project is being funded by the government under Project Ireland 2040. Under the Government’s plan, the higher education sector will see a very significant ramping up of investment in higher education infrastructure – from approximately €800m over the past decade to €2.2 billion over the coming decade. This underlines the government’s commitment to investing in higher education.”
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, said: “The very positive impact the Grangegorman development is having on the surrounding areas of inner city Dublin is already very evident. Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in realising the full potential of the Grangegorman site as a hub for high-quality education and health facilities, as well as for community activity.
The realisation of this development on a previously underutilised brownfield site in the heart of Dublin is very much aligned with the ambitions of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan to deliver a more compact urban growth.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the collaboration of the project funders. This represents the latest in a series of major and very welcome investments by the EIB in the education sector in Ireland. This includes close to €700 million in loans directly to the university sector across the last decade, as well as investments of nearly €500 million in school building programmes. The Grangegorman project will be the fourth PPP in the education sector to benefit from EIB support.”
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, underlined the significance of today’s announcement in the context of DIT’s plans to become a Technological University, together with IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown. “The Technological Universities Act, which has been a significant priority for this Government, was passed into law on 19 March. This is a major milestone and implementation of a significant commitment in the Programme for Government. It gives a renewed impetus and welcome certainty to the consortia planning to seek TU status. It will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution.
Technological Universities will have a transformational impact on the higher education sector. DIT, IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown have been working together over many years with a view to realising the vision of a new multi-campus Technological University for Dublin. Their plans are very well advanced, and I understand the consortium aims to submit its application within a matter of weeks.”
Welcoming the signing of the Project Agreement, Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President, said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to provide circa EUR 110 million to support development of the DIT Grangegorman campus and its transformation into a centre of world-class education. Future generations of students will benefit from 21st-century innovation and education at one of the largest ever regeneration projects in Dublin. The EIB is pleased to build on our track record of supporting investment at higher education institutions across Ireland.”
Ger Casey, Chief Executive of the GDA said: “I am delighted to see this important project get underway and it has come about through a lot of hard work from our colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), and DIT as well as huge support from the European Investment Bank. We are really looking forward to working with the contractors to ensure the buildings are complete and ready for DIT on schedule.”
Construction of two major academic buildings on the campus – the East and Central Quads - will be ready for the academic year in 2020. The buildings will accommodate students in the DIT Colleges of Sciences and Health, Arts and Tourism and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. This will bring together over 50% of all current DIT activities on the new campus, including more than 10,000 students and 600 staff.