UP TO 1,000 jobs will be created by the new look â‚¬200 million Galway Shopping Centre when it is completed within the next five years.
Work on the massive project â€” which will see the size of the centre quadruple â€” is expected to begin early in the New Year, with the developers keen to begin as soon as possible.
The redevelopment plan for the centre is set to be given planning permission following a vote by city councillors last Monday in favour of rezoning land to accommodate a new entrance.
The entire four-phase project should be completed by 2013, with the first phase expected to be completed in 2010. And according to the projectâ€™s backers, Harcourt Developments, the construction phases will create around 250 to 300 jobs.
In a letter to councillors, Harcourtâ€™s Director of Group Operations Conal Harvey asked that the rezoning be passed so that the development â€œcan proceed as soon as possibleâ€.
â€œThe total projected investment in the project is in the order of â‚¬200m over a four to five year period, with construction employment running at 250 to 300 people. When the entire centre is completed, employment will grow by an additional 1,000 jobs,â€ he said.
This week, councillors voted 12-2 in favour of a Material Contravention of the City Development Plan to rezone land on the Sean Mulvoy Road (owned by Hibernians Football Club) to make way for a new entrance to the shopping centre.
The access roadway from the Sean Mulvoy Road will be 70 metres in length, and according to planners, the development will result in an overall improvement of the access roads, including junction changes and better use for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
The Councilâ€™s Director of Services for Planning, Tom Connell, advised members to accept the recommendations being made by the Councilâ€™s executive, adding that it was â€œa vote of confidence that such an investment is to be made in the cityâ€.