Those behind the long-awaited event center for Cork remain “totally committed” to the project – while a scaled-down version of the original plans is not envisaged.
So says Secretary of State Simon Coveney, who admitted his own political capital was tied up in the project crossing the border, although little movement has happened since the infamous pre-election event in early 2016.
Construction on the proposed 6,000-seat venue has not begun since former Taoiseach Enda Kenny broke ground on the former Beamish and Crawford brewery grounds.
Hindered by design, planning and complicated financing complexes, the state has since increased the initial investments from 16 million euros to 50 million euros in order to finally have the plant built.
Speaking ahead of the Cork French Film Festival, Mr. Coveney said, “Funding is still in place. I am of course very attached to the event center and I am very confident that this will continue to be the case.
“I know people have become skeptical because it is taking so long, but the 50 million euros that the government has allocated for this project is very intact.”
He claimed that the relationship between Live Nation, BAM and the Cork City Council “is actually probably stronger and more positive” than ever.
“I think the Cork City Council has done a fantastic job here in maintaining confidence in this project through Covid. Don’t forget, Live Nation is the second largest event management company in the world.
“There have been no events for almost 18 months, so naturally their business model has been completely undermined and disrupted.
“Nevertheless, according to my information, they, like BAM, are absolutely committed to this project,” he said.
Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said, “I think the Cork City Council has done a fantastic job here in maintaining confidence in this project through Covid.” Image: Gareth Chaney / Collins
A stripped-down venue is not on the agenda, he said.
“That is not my understanding at all, and the 50 million.
“It will be a big part of revitalizing Cork and its economy as a city after Covid. I think it will be good news in time, but people are used to hearing me through the event center, they have become cynical and I understand that.
“But believe me, the people who make decisions about this are still absolutely committed to it. That goes for the government, Cork City Council, BAM and Live Nation, ”Coveney said