Back in August 2011, I had a post about how there was a proposal to develop the UCC Farm and turn it into a Science Park. The Farm is a popular spot for many runners as it's soft grass surface makes for an attractive surface to train on in comparison to the busy roads and hard footpaths of the city.
In January of 2012, I had a post about how UCC proposed to develop a centre of excellence for sport at an adjacent site.
Well, last Monday things moved on a bit further when Cork County Council agreed to a Section 85 agreement which allows the Cork County Council to build infrastructure inside the city limits where necessary. This now clears the way for the development of the Cork Science and Innovation Park (CSIP) at the western edge of the city boundary in Curraheen.
The plan includes provisions for the construction of access roads in the predominantly greenfield site, located between Bishopstown and Ballincollig. Infrastructure includes a 2km access road, with two bridges, to provide transport to five development centres.It is hoped that the major development could create upwards of 17,000 jobs and mark Cork out as a potential Silicon Valley of Ireland.
Usual running route on the Farm shown in orange
Phase One of the project, according to County Council documents, will create 1,320 employees and researchers, while Phase Two and Three will generate 4,500 and 11,354 respectively. The spin-off jobs in retail and other ancillary employment positions lead to the 17,000 figure. These figures are separate from the initial construction phase.
It's not clear as to how or when this would impact on the part of the Farm that people use for training but the CSIP Interim Director said...."We have approval for a road to access the site a number of weeks ago so we expect to commence on that project soon. We are preparing an implementation plan for the site now and expect the first building to go up by late 2014. We are also in the process of drawing up a communication strategy for stakeholders and residents which will be released shortly."