The Government has announced the provision of €200 million investment for the construction of 11 large-scale building projects in Institutes of Technology (ITs) across the country under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme. The buildings will be maintained and managed by private developers for 25 years after construction.
Institutes set to benefit from the investment are Athlone, Cork, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, Blanchardstown, Carlow, Tallaght, Tralee, Letterkenny, Limerick and Waterford. The focus of the projects will be largely geared towards Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields.
The Department of Education and Skills estimates that an additional 8,000 student places will be made available as a result of these facilities.
The Department of Education and Skills said the projects were selected based on project enrolments, the capacity to deliver on skills requirements, and the potential each project had to contribute to regional development. 1,500 construction-related jobs are projected to be created during the building phase.
The announcement comes at a time when many institutes of technology are reportedly in debt, with students claiming that quality is suffering from poor access to tutorials, outdated equipment and overcrowded facilities. In a statement, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the ITs had been disproportionately affected by the fall-off in capital investment over the past decade.
Tenders of the building will be released by the end of the year. The first buildings are hoped to be in use by 2021.