Work is to begin on a €5 million multipurpose sports facility in Clonmel, as the project developed by Limerick Institute of Technology in partnership with Tipperary County Council gets underway. The building contract between Limerick IT and Tony Patterson Sports Grounds Ltd was signed this afternoon (Tuesday, July 20, 2021).
The Clonmel Sports Hub will be situated adjacent to the LIT Clonmel Digital Campus, which will soon become one of the key campuses of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest. The hub will include a 400-metre IAAF standard athletics track, skatepark, walkways and cycleways, playground and cycle (pump) track.
The project will also consist of the construction of facilities and tower buildings and associated site works, as well as floodlights for the athletics track and cycle pump track, and public lighting for all other areas.
The 1.88-hectare site for the Clonmel Sport Hub has been provided by LIT, and the project funded under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) programme. LIT and Tipperary County Council worked in partnership to provide matched funding for the project and to finalise the grant application.
In addition, substantial funding has been provided by local businesses SEPAM, CAMIDA, Boston Scientific and Abbott Vascular with additional funding being pledged by Clonmel Athletic Club, Clonmel Cycling Club and Clonmel Triathlon Club.
This new sports hub, developed to international sporting standards, will provide services for local clubs, schools, groups and the general public, world class facilities for LIT students, and ensure Clonmel has a competitive advantage in developing the town as a destination and venue for regional, national and international events.
Speaking at the virtual signing Chair of the Governing Body of LIT Tony Brazil said, “The Clonmel Sport Hub is an ambitious project, that came to fruition as a result of a strong working relationship between LIT and Tipperary County Council. The signing of the project today is a testimony of the commitment of both organisation to the development of Clonmel and the region. It is also a testimony to the commitment of the late Andrew Kearney to his community and in particular this project, and we are very pleased that his wife Audrey and daughters Grace, Anna and Lucy can join us for the signing.”
Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Cllr Marie Murphy said, “The project marks an important step in the provision of world class sports facilities in Clonmel and will help to encourage further investment in the town and hopefully provide a springboard for young athletes to progress to national and international success. It will also help to retain and attract families and investment to the area, laying down a legacy for future generations.”
President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane described the sports hub as an example of LIT’s commitment to the town, Tipperary county and the region as a whole. “LIT will become a technological university from October 1, and Clonmel a university town, and together we are part of a new era of development and promise. We are proud to be part of the Clonmel community, and believe shared facilities liked the sports hub not only benefit our staff and students, but also provides world class sporting facilities for clubs and organisations in the region, as well as amenities that will benefit the health and well-being of the wider community.”
Vice President Corporate Services & Capital Development LIT Jimmy Browne added, “LIT is committed to providing sporting developments of an internationally recognised standard. Our campus here in Clonmel provides a unique set of courses that have international reach, and this facility also adds to the student offering and experience.”
Welcoming the commencement of the project Mayor of Clonmel Borough District, Cllr Michael Murphy said, “Clonmel has a rich sporting history going back many decades and the new sports hub will ensure that this tradition will continue for generations to come.”
Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council, Joe MacGrath, thanked LIT for coming on board with the council to progress the project. He also thanked the local businesses and clubs for their financial pledges to the sports hub and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for providing the majority of the funding. “This project will further emphasise the commitment of the people of Clonmel and Tipperary, both public and private, to continue their investment in development of the town”.
Local architects, Ken Hennessey Architects designed the project and will oversee the construction phase.