Contract signed, construction to commence immediately on two flagship buildings to cater for 10,000 DIT students and 600 staff.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President, today welcomed the signing of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project Agreement which now paves the way for the construction of two flagship new buildings at the DIT campus in Grangegorman, Dublin 7.

The Government has set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Modern, state of the art facilities are important to delivering on this ambition.

The two buildings, the Central Quad and East Quad, will together provide some 52,000m2 of academic space and cater for 10,000 students and 600 staff. The buildings are scheduled to be ready for occupation by the 2020/21 academic year.  In line with the Government’s strategic national priorities, the buildings will provide state of the art facilities for the DIT Colleges of Sciences and Health, Arts and Tourism and for the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The contract has been awarded to the Eriugena consortium. The Eriugena consortium is 100% owned by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. and is supported by a construction joint venture between Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd and FCC Ireland Ltd and by facilities management services provider Sodexo Ireland Ltd. The project will be funded by the European Investment Bank, MUFG, Sun Life Investment Management and Talanx Asset Management. 

Welcoming the signing of the Project Agreement, Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President, said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to provide circa €110 million to support development of the DIT Grangegorman campus and its transformation into a centre of world class education. Future generations of students will benefit from 21st century innovation and education at one of the largest ever regeneration projects in Dublin. The EIB is pleased to build on our track record of supporting investment at higher education institutions across Ireland.”

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said: “Today’s signing represents a very significant step forward in realising the Government’s ambitions for the Grangegorman development and in delivering a consolidated, state of the art campus for DIT. This significant investment in higher education infrastructure will also advance Ireland’s ambitions to provide the best education and training service in Europe by 2026."

“This project is being funded by the government under Project Ireland 2040. Under the Government’s plan, the higher education sector will see a very significant ramping up of investment in higher education infrastructure – from approximately €800m over the past decade to €2.2 billion over the coming decade. This underlines the government’s commitment to investing in higher education."

“The Eriugena consortium brings considerable expertise to this ambitious project.  The PPP model harnesses the best of the private and public sectors."

Many people have worked hard to make today’s agreement a reality. I would like, in particular, to thank the NDFA, which has procured the project on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, working in conjunction with staff of my Department, DIT and the Grangegorman Development Agency.  The NDFA will also monitor the delivery phase.  I would also like to express my appreciation for the significant ongoing work of the Grangegorman Development Agency and its Board in realising the transformative potential of the Grangegorman development.

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, said: “The very positive impact the Grangegorman development is having on the surrounding areas of inner city Dublin is already very evident. Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in realising the full potential of the Grangegorman site as a hub for high quality education and health facilities, as well as for community activity.

The realisation of this development on a previously underutilised brownfield site in the heart of Dublin is very much aligned with the ambitions of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan to deliver a more compact urban growth.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the collaboration of the project funders.  This represents the latest in a series of major and very welcome investments by the EIB in the education sector in Ireland.  This includes close to €700 million in loans directly to the university sector across the last decade, as well as investments of nearly €500 million in school building programmes.  The Grangegorman project will be the fourth PPP in the education sector to benefit from EIB support.”

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, underlined the significance of today’s announcement in the context of DIT’s plans to become a Technological University, together with IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown. The Minister said: “The Technological Universities Act, which has been a significant priority for this Government, was passed into law on 19 March. This is a major milestone and implementation of a significant commitment in the Programme for Government. It gives a renewed impetus and welcome certainty to the consortia planning to seek TU status. It will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution.

Technological Universities will have a transformational impact on the higher education sector. DIT, IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown have been working together over many years with a view to realising the vision of a new multi-campus Technological University for Dublin. Their plans are very well advanced and I understand the consortium aims to submit its application within a matter of weeks.”

The significant infrastructure investment at Grangegorman will drive forward the objectives of a Technological University, including in attracting research funding, increasing numbers of international students and positioning the institution to be a driver of development nationally, regionally and locally. 

The construction of the Central Quad and East Quad follows significant site infrastructure and public realm work which has already been undertaken on the 73 acre Grangegorman site, as well as the development of the Greenway Hub for DIT, primary care centre and Phoenix Care Centre for the HSE, and the transformation of listed buildings for academic use. Further development will take place over the coming years to realise the full potential of a world class, integrated education, health and community campus.

Gerard Cahillane, Deputy Director of the NDFA said: “We welcome financial close and congratulate the Eriugena consortium. As the procuring authority for this project, the NDFA is delighted to be involved in a flagship project that is central to the development of the new DIT campus at Grangegorman, and which will bring lasting benefits to the Institute’s students and staff.”