LIMERICK received a major jobs boost today after Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) was awarded €3.5m in funding from the Department of Education.
The funding will be used to develop a new higher education campus at Coonagh Cross to the north of the city, creating 234 jobs.
Initially, the project will provide 134 construction jobs.
Once the campus is complete LIT will take on 100 staff.
Phase one of the project is due to be completed in 2018 and will cater for 550 students.
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said that the investment in Limerick will attract more jobs to the Shannon region.
“The innovation of our educational institutes has been critical in attracting jobs and investment to Limerick in recent years and this investment will ensure that this model of success goes from strength-to-strength,” said Ms O’Sullivan.
“It will ensure that growing sectors of the economy can find high quality graduates right here in Limerick,” she added.
“It’s good news for students, good news for LIT and good news for Limerick.”
The new Coonagh site will initially be used for precision engineering and educating students to provide services in the manufacturing sector.
However, it is also expected to enable LIT to expand into a range of new programmes and provide sports facilities for the Northside of the city.
LIT President Dr Maria Hinfelaar said that the development will have numerous benefits for Limerick.
“The return for the economy in Limerick and the Mid-West from this investment is going to be very substantial,” she said.
“Aside from the additional employment created, each cohort of 120 that graduates from Coonagh will add €6 million per annum to the economy in salary alone,” she added.
“This is a game-changing moment for LIT and for Higher Education in the Mid-West. This is a critical capital investment made by the state which ensures that LIT will be a key catalyst helping Limerick and the wider Mid-West region to continue attracting further high value technology jobs.”
It is the third major part of the Campus 2030 plan LIT has in place.
They opened their Sportslab facility at the Tipperary campus earlier this year and an International Fashion Incubator earlier this month.
“LIT will now be able to almost double its footprint,” said Dr Hinfelaar.
Founder and CEO of Limerick-based Takumi Precision, Gerry Reynolds said that the announcement will help businesses such as his.
“It means that Limerick-based businesses like Takumi, which compete globally, can get ready for future increases in business faster than other manufacturing locations,” he said.
“The investment by LIT in new facilities and cutting edge technology, along with the development of new courses in conjunction with industry, means that the potential to attract new high-end manufacturers in areas like medical devices and aerospace to the region is significant,” he added.