The European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed €85m to Limerick City and County Council to fund a commercial development in the city centre.
The finance will be spent on transforming the 1.62-hectare Opera Site in Limerick city centre into an office development with the capacity for 3,000 jobs.
The loan from the EIB marked the first funding to be made available by the bank to a local authority programme in Ireland since 1993.
The loan agreement for €85m – the EIB's largest ever urban investment in Ireland – was signed at the council's corporate headquarters in Limerick by Andrew McDowell, vice-president of the EIB, and Conn Murray, chief executive of Limerick City and County Council.
Cllr Stephen Keary, mayor of the city and county of Limerick; Denis Brosnan, chairman of Limerick Twenty Thirty; David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty; as well as Oireachtas and other public representatives were also in attendance.
Mr McDowell said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to support this impressive and ambitious investment that [will] transform the city of Limerick over the coming years.
“This will create thousands of new jobs, renovate vacant buildings to provide much-needed office space and regenerate historic buildings in Ireland's third city, as well as reducing energy bills for public buildings.
“As the bank of the European Union, the EIB has a unique track record supporting sustainable urban development across Europe and improving the quality of life and economic opportunities in cities around the world.
“Following this record new support for urban investment in Ireland, we expect to announce cooperation with further local authorities in the coming months.”
The Opera Site will become the largest-single project in the Limerick Twenty Thirty programme, a scheme which was launched last year with the introduction of the special purpose vehicle with a target of delivering over €500m worth of transformation infrastructure across vital strategic sites in Limerick.
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