The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) said today in a statement that it is looking with interest at investing in the 13-acre site of the former Smithwick’s Brewery in Kilkenny city centre.
In October 2013, Kilkenny’s local authorities unveiled plans to develop a knowledge and business quarter on the site in the city.
The NTMA managed ISIF, said it is considering a joint venture arrangement with Kilkenny County Council on the phased redevelopment of the site.
The first phase of the redevelopment involves converting and refurbishing two buildings on the site to create a dedicated business, enterprise and third-level research facility to support employment in the region.
According to ISIF, the council has received first stage expressions of interest from Irish and international companies willing to locate business operations on the proposed site. It has also received expressions of interest from institutions in the third-level education sector in establishing research facilities on the site.
The ISIF said it is willing to provide equity and loan finance for this phase, subject to terms, due diligence and formal approvals, and that it is interested in exploring a long-term collaboration with the Council on subsequent phases of the redevelopment.
The €7.2bn ISIF was established in December 2014 with a mandate of investing to support economic activity and employment in the State. So far, the fund has made investment commitments of €1.5bn and plans to deploy the remainder over the coming years.
“Projects of this nature are consistent with the ISIF’s dual mandate to seek both investment return and economic impact from the investments it makes,” said ISIF director Eugene O’Callaghan. “Significant progress has been made by the council to a point where we believe this project can deliver a commercial return if structured appropriately and make a significant contribution to economic activity and employment in Kilkenny and the surrounding region.”