The long awaited construction of a research and development campus at Ballingarrane, in Clonmel, will start this month, following the approval of planning consent at Monday’s county council meeting.
Ground is set to be broken on the project in the next three weeks and be completed by next August, ready for students in September 2014.
The research, development and enterprise project will include a promotion and training facility at the Science and Technology Park. The facility will be used for a wide range of purposes including ‘lifelong learning,’ ‘r and d lab space,’ meetings rooms and offices. It will include welfare/ cafe facilities.
An agreement with Limerick Institute of Technology will see the site become a Tipperary campus for the college. LIT will manage the facility which is hoped to become a catalyst for a science and technology park in Clonmel that will drive economic development in the county.
“This is a very important milestone for Ballingarrane,” County Manager Billy McEvoy said, highlighting the €3 million investment of the council which they hope will bring employment to Clonmel and the county.
Another first for the Ballingarrane project is that is it a beneficiary of the first ‘social dividend’ from an Irish company. Irish Public Bodies Insurance underwrites some of the largest organisations in the state, in the public and private sector, including South Tipperary local authorities. In 2012 it issued a ‘dividend to society’ awarding the Ballingarrane project €100,000. Mr McEvoy said the council were grateful for the contribution towards the project.