Re: Re: Developments in Cork

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Today’s Irish Examiner
City looks at options for centre

By Eoin English
STALLED talks have forced Cork’s city manager to consider new sites for a multi-million euro conference centre.

Joe Gavin said he will present a detailed report to city councillors within a month which is likely to recommend that the city consider sites other than the council’s favoured Kent station railway location.

Mr Gavin has repeatedly said he favours the construction of a 5,000-6,000 seat conference centre near the railway station on CIÉ-owned Horgan’s Quay land.

The city included the massive project in an ambitious local area plan for Horgan’s Quay which fed into the overall masterplan guiding the regeneration of the city’s docklands.

When CIÉ and their development partners, Manor Park Homes, announced revamp plans for Horgan’s Quay, talks began with Cork-based developer Paul Montgomery, who is prepared to build the conference centre.

But despite intensive talks, they have proved fruitless.

“The Kent Station site is the favoured site. But there is no guarantee that a conference centre will be built here,” Mr Gavin said yesterday.

Mr Gavin declined to criticise CIÉ and Manor Park Homes. But he said: “The various parties haven’t enthusiastically embraced the proposal for this site.”

Now, frustrated with the apparent lack of progress, Mr Gavin is preparing a report for councillors which will suggest that other sites be considered.

Any site within two kilometres of the city centre, including the vast docklands region, would be suitable, he said.

Tourism and business interests have repeatedly stated that securing a conference centre for the city is vital to boost business.

The Cork Marketing Partnership, which was launched last week to market the city nationally and internationally, is also planning to target lucrative conference business.

Councillors called on Monday for swift action.

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