International Rugby Experience in Limerick is a key moment that will pave the way for a “game-changing” project for the city and region. Paul O’Connell is pictured at the site on O’Connell Street, Limerick. Picture: Alan Place
Approval granted for ‘game-changing’ International Rugby Experience in Limerick
Limerick welcomes An Bord Pleanála’s decision to uphold the granting of planning permission for the International Rugby Experience in Limerick as a key moment that will pave the way for a “game-changing” project for the city and region. The International Rugby Experience is being backed by JP McManus to the tune of €10m. The Board of the International Rugby Experience welcomed the news that permission has been granted and said that “work can now start on what An Bord Pleanala has described as an ‘iconic and unique redevelopment of a site in Limerick City Centre. Construction will now begin in the coming months on the 30,000 sq ft development, located at 40-41 O’Connell St., in the heart of Limerick City.
Reacting to the decision, Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said: “This is a project of unquantifiable significance for Limerick. It’s a game-changer. One of our key objectives in the Limerick Chamber is to see the value proposition for the city centre strengthened so that we attract more people to live, work and shop here. We’ve long since argued that we needed a stimulant for that and the International Rugby Experience is exactly that.
“Together with the planned €9.1million LUCROC project for the revitalisation of O’Connell Street by Limerick City and County Council and the work of Limerick Twenty Thirty in redeveloping key city centre sites that will accommodate thousands of jobs, we are looking at a whole new era for Limerick city centre.
“Limerick has made massive gains over the past five years, with 12,000 new jobs announced in that time. But that’s only brought us part of the journey and what’s now about to happen will take us to another level again.
The International Rugby Experience will draw tens of thousands of visitors each year. It’s an exciting time for Limerick.”
Ms Ryan said that the McManus family, Paul O’Connell and other key drivers of the project deserve huge praise for their commitment. “The International Rugby Experience will be a unique, permanent and dynamic celebration of one of the world’s great team sports, a sport that’s part of Limerick’s DNA but also one that’s equally cherished across the globe,” she added.
International award winning and 3 times Stirling prize shortlisted Niall McLaughlin Architects are the driving force behind the creative design of the building, while Event London is tasked with curating the exhibits and the design inside the visitor centre.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr James Collins, welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission.
“I’m delighted that planning has been granted for the Rugby World Experience on O’Connell Street and it will be a wonderful addition to the heart of the city centre.
“The new building will no doubt become a landmark as we re-develop our main thoroughfare, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.
“Limerick is synonymous with rugby and this new museum will attract rugby fans from around the world wishing to capture and experience the magic and essence of Limerick and rugby.
“The project fits nicely into the plans for Limerick 2030 which will transform Limerick over the next decade,” said Mayor Collins.
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