Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed the confirmation by his party colleague Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris that an agreement has been reached between SETU and the vendor for the purchase of a significant portion of the former Waterford Crystal site on the Cork Road.
Senator Cummins said “I am absolutely delighted that an agreement has been reached on the purchase of 20 acres of the former Waterford Crystal site. Sanction was received last October from the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform to enable SETU to proceed to final negotiations within certain parameters and that process has now concluded with a positive result achieved which all parties are satisfied with.”
A great deal of work had gone into this project at the front end of the process in terms of dialogue, negotiation and rigorous valuation processes undertaken by both the former WIT and the Higher Education Authority. As predicted, that banked work has resulted in an agreement which all sides are satisfied with.
I would like to thank Mr. Frisby for his willingness to engage in the process and reach agreement with SETU for the benefit of Waterford and the entire region. I know that SETU President Veronica Campbell, Mr. Frisby and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund have very ambitious plans for a University Innovation & Enterprise Quarter which they are all looking forward to bringing to fruition. The fact that a portion of the site will remain in private ownership gives the flexibility to be able to deliver building solutions in a way that may not be possible on state-owned land and this could prove very useful in creating that mix of industry, education and research.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I have said it time and again, those that dismiss the importance of this acquisition are completely missing the importance of this site from both a practical and symbolic perspective. Not only will it future proof the growth of the new university in Waterford City, but it will also provide an enormous boost to the people of Waterford to know that a site which once employed thousands of people will be repurposed to educate and accommodate the next generation of workers and industry.