Reply To: Convention centre
Those who have been following the Conference Centre deliberations (article in todays paper attached) they will know that citywest is not shortlisted as a possible site for the National Conference Centre. Spencer Dock is shortlisted but as previously mentioned in this thread – the design is awful, it is surrounded by apartments and offices, it is not on the waterfront.
Another group has a submission in for the racetrack in Leapordstown which one would only have to fondly remember the Baileys Icon to judge. (Those empty golden buses shooting up the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway!) The remaining submission which I personally prefer is down beside the Point Depot, has large surrounding space for ancillary non-commercial development (national theatre, national stadium, national welly throwing arena), has the C1 Luas extension to the door, footbridges etc. to the southside, Port Tunnel to the airport and beyond and Dublin Port for cruise ships and passenger ferries.
Whether one will actually be built this time (I stand to be corrected but have not Treasury won this competition twice before?) or a decision reached before 2006 remains to be seen but Dublin would be the preferred destination of hundreds of well heeled groups of conferencees for whom the destination city is just as important as the actual talks.
Minister blames red tape for delayed conference centre plan
Arthur Beesley, Political Reporter
The Government will be unable to select a group to build the national conference centre until late next summer at the earliest due to “tortuous” red tape in the Department of Finance, the Minister for Tourism has indicated.
Mr O’Donoghue wanted a preferred bidder chosen before Christmas, but he has conceded that the deadline will not be met because of the bureaucracy involved in the public-private partnership funding model being used by the Government.
In remarks to the DÃ¡il last week that were not reported at the time, the Minister said the process should be changed.
“As far as my experience goes, it is tortuous in the extreme,” he said. “It is tortuous for the officials involved, the Minister and those who are interested in becoming involved in construction. I hope that one of these days someone will see sense and change the guidelines governing this process. I have rarely come across as much red tape or bureaucracy in all my days travelling.”
The groups shortlisted last July by the Government are said to be frustrated at the delays in the process, which was initiated last January. Those on the list include the long-time bidder Treasury Holdings, which wants to build the centre at Spencer Dock in central Dublin.
The Anna Livia Consortium, led by Bennett Construction, wants to build the centre at a site owned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority near the Point Theatre. The group involving the construction firm Michael McNamara and the Leopardstown Club Consortium wants to build it on land owned by Horse Racing Ireland adjacent to the Carrickmines end of the Leopardstown racecourse.
Mr O’Donoghue said in the DÃ¡il that the public-private partnership was “necessarily complex” and was being carried out in accordance with interim guidelines developed by the Department of Finance.
The preparation of detailed project documentation was demanding and time-consuming.
While it would not be possible to select a preferred bidder before the end of the year, Mr O’Donoghue said the objective now was to to ensure that invitations to tender were issued to the three pre-qualified candidates before Christmas.