Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor announce €18.75m capital grant for Cork institute of technology under Project Ireland 2040

Maura O'Shea

By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 17 December, 2019

Exterior of Cork Institute of Technology

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today announced an €18.75 million investment in Cork institute of technology.

The funding is being allocated under Project Ireland 2040, which commits to exchequer investments of €2.2 billion in Ireland’s higher education infrastructure over the coming decade.

The Department’s approval in principle for the €18.75 capital allocation will go towards significant building upgrades and refurbishment for CIT’s Bishopstown campus, built in 1974.

The funding represents a key investment for Cork city and will further boost the role played by CIT, part of the Munster Technological University (MTU) consortium along with IT Tralee, as a driver of economic development in the southern region.

The refurbishment project is to be phased in over five years to minimise disruption to students and staff. It includes the replacement of windows, roof and building facade, as well as the upgrading of the mechanical and electrical services. It will also allow for a number of sustainable technologies including a combined heat and power plant, solar photovoltaic system, LED lighting and upgraded building management system.

Minister McHugh said: “I am delighted to announce €18.75m in funding for Cork Institute of Technology. This funding under Project Ireland 2040 recognises the role of higher education institutions in driving regional growth. CIT plays a hugely important role in providing talented graduates to industry in the southern region. The investment will further strengthen its capacity to meet industry needs and will directly support its ambitions to develop a new Munster Technological University, together with IT Tralee.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “The capital investment announced today will provide upgraded facilities that improve the overall student experience, significantly improve the building’s energy performance, and allow CIT to continue to expand its student numbers.

“As part of Budget 2020, we have also announced that we are dedicating €90 million over the next three years to support our higher education institutions to achieve TU designation and to support the further advancement of established technological universities.

“The establishment of the MTU is a key Government priority to deliver on regional development objectives for the southern region under Project Ireland 2040.”

The funding under Project Ireland 2040 will be provided through easy to access loans the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

CIT’s main building in Bishopstown caters for a large proportion of the college’s students, with approximately 85% of the Faculty of Engineering and Science accommodated there.

The upgrade will facilitate the continued growth of CIT’s STEM provision, in line with the objectives of the National Skills Strategy 2025, demographic growth projections and industry needs in the region and nationally.

The investment is taking place alongside a new Learning Resource Centre planned for CIT as part of the Higher Education PPP Programme. Together with a new STEM building planned for IT Tralee, the investments will greatly strengthen the capacity of both institutions to deliver on the ambitions of a future Munster Technological University (MTU).

Funding to UCC for the Cork University Business School in the city centre was also recently announced as part of the Higher Education Strategic Investment Fund.

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