Huge expansion planned to give UL a city centre presence

A €224 million expansion of University of Limerick (UL) over the next five years will “ensure the university is a world-class campus at the heart of Limerick,” according to Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan.

The planned expansion incorporates a new city centre presence, with student accommodation for as many as 1,000 students and an academic building forming the basis of a campus in Limerick city.

Speaking at the launch of the Capital Development Plan, UL President, Prof Don Barry, said that UL’s role as “a dynamic agent of economic, social and cultural development” would be extended as a result of its presence within the city centre, helping to deliver “a true renaissance of Limerick.”

Students at the university will benefit from the creation of a student village, including Students’ Union facilities, shops, social areas, a visitor centre, meeting rooms, cinema and concert facilities. Additional research, academic and sporting facilities will be constructed, doubling the size of the current library and providing a specifically-designed training centre for the Munster Rugby team.

University Hospital Limerick will also be a future site of a new research centre for medical and nursing students.

Almost half of the Capital Development Plan will be funded by a €100 million investment from the European Investment Bank, who have previously invested in the University.

Vice-President of the bank, Jonathon Taylor, stated that the expansion will “transform education and student life for future generations”.

The ambitious undertaking will create an estimated 1,000 jobs in the locality and is aimed to be completed by 2018.

Kate Coscoran

Image Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons

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