Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the confirmation by his party colleague Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris that approval has been granted to South East Technological University to enter negotiations with the vendor to acquire the former Waterford Crystal site on the Cork Road.
Senator Cummins said “I’m delighted to receive confirmation from my colleague Minister Harris that he has given SETU approval to enter negotiations with the owner of the former Waterford Crystal site today following sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Funding has been ringfenced for this acquisition project which is essential to the future growth of the new university.
“A great deal of work was done by the former WIT in relation to the acquisition of this site in terms of dialogue, negotiation and valuations, therefore it is my hope that that this banked work at the front end of the process will yield the desired result at the backend of the process. A robust valuation exercise has been undertaken incorporating many elements and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform were satisfied to sanction the negotiating parameters.
He added “Obviously, a commercially sensitive process has to be entered into from this point which we must all fully respect, however the ringfenced funding to make this acquisition happen is available and I am hopeful that agreement can be found without delay”.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “While some detractors will say there isn’t a need for additional land for our new university, I think they completely miss the importance of this site from both a practical and symbolic perspective. Not only will it future proof the growth of the university in Waterford, it will also give an enormous lift 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 young workers.