IT Sligo has been successful in its application of funding for the development and upgrade of the K&L Block on the north campus. The €13.7m capital investment was announced this morning by The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D and will be provided through the Higher Education Authority. This funding will facilitate the consolidation on campus of the recently established Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture and form a North-Campus Creative Hub in IT Sligo.
Minister Joe McHugh T.D. added funding would help IT Sligo and the Connacht Ulster Alliance towards their ambitions in becoming a Technological University:
“The funding will also support IT Sligo as a member of the Connacht Ulster Alliance in working towards Technological University status. Significant new buildings for the other members of the Alliance, Letterkenny IT and GMIT, are currently being advanced as part of the Higher Education Public Private Partnership Programme. Together these capital investments will greatly enhance the role of the planned TU as a driver of economic and social development in the West and North West”.
This creative hub will allow art, design and architecture students to optimise the commonalities of the various disciplines in a fit for purpose, collaborative environment. This significant development is an integral part of the master plan of IT Sligo to grow to 10,000 students.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor said:
“Lifelong learning is one of the key objectives of Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025. IT Sligo has been, and continues to be, a leader in the areas of online and blended learning. I am pleased that this investment will support the Institute to further expand opportunities in this area.”
President of IT Sligo, Dr. Brendan McCormack welcomed the announcement and hopes it will become a focal point for the creative sector in the Northwest:
“IT Sligo would like to sincerely thank The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D for announcing this funding today. We also acknowledge the work of Tony McLoughlin, TD in supporting our proposal.
The funding will facilitate a significant upgrade of the existing north campus in IT Sligo, bringing together architecture, creative design, fine art, interior architecture & design, performing arts and writing & literature programmes into a creative hub on campus. The upgraded facilities will encourage engagement with the creative industry and community and will act as a focal point for creative sector in the region.
I would like to congratulate all our colleagues for their support in this application as this is a reflection of the high esteem this institute is held within the Government and the HEA. I would especially like to thank Elizabeth McCabe, Una Parsons, Emmet Doherty and Ed Millar for their hard work and dedication in making this successful application.”
The funding is being provided under Project Ireland 2040 which commits to exchequer investments of €2.2 billion in Ireland’s higher education infrastructure over the coming decade. Together with other infrastructural development funding received by county Sligo under Project Ireland 2040, this funding received by IT Sligo is a further indicator of the commitment by the Government to develop Sligo as a regional centre. Dr. McCormack added: “We will be making other applications for on-campus developments over the coming months to ensure that IT Sligo has the necessary infrastructure to transition into a technological university for the North-West of Ireland.”
Tony McLoughlin, TD also welcomed the announcement as another growth indicator for the region: , “Today’s positive announcement for Sligo comes on the back of over €160 Million investment in upgrading our key roads this year, the 1450 new jobs announced here since January 2018 and the continued focus on helping Sligo to grow to reach its potential.”
Work on the development will be start once a tendering process is complete.
IMAGES: Artists impression of the development plans to improve facilities on its North Campus.