NUI Galway is planning to invest about €200 million on developing disused sites it owns in the city centre.
Ireland’s second-largest university by student numbers has opened a public consultation process to inform the direction of a plan that will result in the regeneration of lands at Nuns’ Island in the city.
While sources of funding have yet to be found, the university expects the State, private donors and some of its own funds to be used for the planned development.
The Government’s urban regeneration and development fund has committed support for the project, which includes a dilapidated distillery.
Land earmarked for redevelopment is in Galway city centre’s former industrial centre, which will be transformed into a new quarter to “capitalise on its high-value ecosystem of innovation and culture to attract” multinationals.
The university is spending more than €250,000 on a master plan that will consider educational, cultural, economic, residential and social uses for the site. Galway City Council is also involved in the development.
“We very much welcome this support from the Urban Regeneration Development Fund and are delighted to see an agreed vision that this part of our city has the potential to generate a range of community, economic, social, environmental and educational benefits,” said NUI Galway president Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.
“We welcome all views that will contribute to the long-term development of Nun’s Island for the betterment of our community,” added Mr Ó hÓgartaigh, who is spearheading the plan as part of his 10-year presidency of the university.
On 15 acres on Nun’s Island, the university aims to provide new spaces to be used by it and the local community. The first phase of the consultation process is now under way, involving a programme of engagement with interested parties and that is scheduled to finish later this year.
“In Nun’s Island we look forward to building on the established strengths embedded in this city-centre area and to drawing together the complementary strands of education, culture, heritage, business and the residential community to improve and develop the local area,” Galway City Council chief executive Brendan McGrath said.