THE redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the establishment of a centre of excellence is set to give a timely boost to the construction sector and service industries locally, with the creation of over 400 jobs, the Cork County Board of the GAA have said.
At a project briefing, the scheme design was outlined by Seamus Kelly M.D., Malachy Walsh & Partners, consulting engineers and David Flannery, Director of Scott, Tallon, Walker architects.
A general presentation on funding of the €67m project was outlined by County Secretary Frank Murphy who said, “The primary purpose of the development is to restore Páirc Uí Chaoimh as one of the premier sports stadiums in the country and will provide a development worthy of the city and the largest county.”
The Board Delegates from all units in cork were informed that a planning application for the integrated stadium and centre of excellence project will be made in October.
The board and its consultants are currently engaged in intensive discussions with Cork City Council and with the Dutch consultants who are master planning the proposed 100 acre Marina Park surrounding the stadium.
The Stadium will have a games capacity of 45,000 and the project will see a complete modernisation of the existing stadium, the re-development and roofing of both stands, the incorporation of new dressing rooms and pre-match warm up areas, medical facilities, restaurants, meeting and conference rooms, press room, museum, new and additional turnstiles, the elimination of the existing stadium “tunnels” and the creation of new access and egress points for spectators.
The centre of excellence will include an all weather pitch, new gymnasium, dressing rooms, video and performance assessment facilities.
A public viewing area of 1,000 capacity for the all weather pitch will form part of the redevelopment of the existing covered stand.
Subject to a successful planning application, construction on the project will begin in autumn of next year and be undertaken in two phases and completed in 2015.
In the region of 400 direct and indirect construction jobs will be created over the two-phase construction period.
Using Construction Industry Federation multiples, this would result in a direct €22 million boost to the construction and related sectors locally, the meeting was told.
The Stadium will be financed from a number of sources including the GAA, commercial revenue, ticket sales and other funding.
Addressing delegates, Chairman Bob Ryan described the project as “tremendously exciting for the GAA, for sport in general and for Cork itself”.
He warned that it was not an option for Páirc Uí Chaoimh to remain as it was.
“If we are serious about showcasing our games, attracting spectators, encouraging players and sustaining and enhancing the contribution of the GAA to the sporting community life of Cork, then this project needs to proceed,” said Mr. Ryan.
The meeting was informed that each major fixture or public event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh generated an estimated €12m for the local economy with the main beneficiaries being the hospitality sector.
The redeveloped Stadium was not only likely to attract greater numbers of fixtures but also be in a position to attract other large events, thereby addressing significant deficits in Cork’s business and tourism infrastructure.
Former President of the GAA, Christy Cooney, who was in attendance at the briefing, praised the Project and called for its support.