KING John's Castle and the Nicholas Street area could still become 'Limerick's Temple Bar' by 2012 as a major €5 million redevelopment plan is due to be signed off at Government level.
Deputy Willie O'Dea said he has been informed by Minister for the Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mary Hanafin, that she has given approval for a significant redevelopment of King John's castle and Nicholas Street.
It is understood the full scale of works could cost in the region of €5 million, but this has not been confirmed.
Spearheaded by Limerick City Council and Shannon Development, the plans are part of a proposal to turn Limerick into a major tourist destination.
Shannon Development had applied to the department earlier this year for funding for the works. As part of the overall proposals, some of the derelict units in Nicholas Street would be converted to shops specifically aimed at tourists, while there would be apartments on the upper floors.
Deputy O'Dea welcomed the announcement of funding, which is expected to provide additional employment and boost trade for retailers.