LIMERICK’s €250m economic plan took a big step forward last night as the Government approved plans to demolish Sarsfield House.
In what has been described as “a great Christmas present for the city” the move will create 250 construction jobs.
Following yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed the Government had agreed to provide funds to relocate hundreds of staff to a new “state of the art office development” at the Opera Centre site.
It will be the first tangible development to take place in almost a decade on the Patrick Street site, which was once earmarked for a shopping centre.
In a statement, Mr Noonan confirmed: “The Government agreed to a key proposal in the Economic and Spatial Strategy for Limerick for the demolition of Sarsfield’s House and the relocation of the offices of the Revenue Commissioners in Limerick to a yet to be developed, privately financed, state-of-the-art office development”.
A working group is to be put in place comprising of the Revenue Commissioners, the Office of Public Works, plus Limerick City and County Council.
Mr Noonan said the redevelopment of the site will create around 250 jobs in construction alone, with the new building housing up to 800 civil servants, with the merging of the Revenue’s staff based at the much-derided Sarsfield House, and those based in Charlotte’s Quay.
Once Sarsfield House is knocked, the 2030 plan envisages a green space will be created at the northern entrance to the city centre, and a new bridge over the Shannon. Funding for this is already in place.
At Patrick Street, Revenue will be the anchor tenant of a new financial and educational campus.
Business Association chair Helen O’Donnell said: “It is fabulous news for Limerick. It is a great a Limerick minister has made this announcement, and a Limerick woman has signed off on this (Revenue boss Josephine Feehily). It is a great Christmas present for the city.”