A new town is being built in the west of Ireland with the capacity to generate 3,500 jobs
Clare County Council claims it will be "Europe’s first 21st Century University Town".
A new town is set to be built on the Clare side of the University of Limerick's campus, a move which allegedly has the capacity to generate at least 3,500 jobs, according to the Limerick Leader.
A 300-hectare site has been given the go-ahead by Clare County Council for the South Clare Economic Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) proposal, which aims to mix academia and private industry on the north side campus.
The council believes the majority of the work could be completed within the next decade, bringing a target of 3,500 jobs to the as-yet-unnamed town.
In a statement on the Clare County Council website, the Local Authority calls the SDZ "Europe’s first 21st century university town", providing local residents with a full range of "living, working, amenity, social, cultural and recreational spaces integrated with a range of University facilities, including teaching, learning and research".
The SDZ is also set to include the redevelopment and integration of the Errinagh canal, thereby providing the final inland waterway link between Lough Erne in County Fermanagh and Limerick City, as well as the Shannon Estuary.
The SDZ site is made up of the land area located north and east of the existing UL campus in County Clare, framed on its north side by the Limerick Northern Distributor Road and on its west by the Errinagh Canal.
In an email sent to the university's staff, UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald stated how he believes the move is a great one for the university and all who work there.
"For UL, this decision offers further momentum to a planned and strategic approach to the development of the northern campus and follows on from the decision in 2016 to support the development of a northern distributor road north of Limerick City," Fitzgerald wrote.
Clare County Council will submit a formal application to Government for the designation of the SDZ in the coming weeks. Should the application be successful, a detailed masterplan for the area will be developed by the Local Authority, in conjunction with UL, local landowners and other stakeholders.
You can read more on the story in the Limerick Leader here.