Development of new DIT campus moves towards realisation

Dublin 03 November, 2004: 

The Grangegorman Development Agency Bill was debated in the Dáil yesterday, and passed second stage with support from all sides of the House.  The Bill will now move to Committee Stage, and DIT hopes the legislation will be passed by year end.

The Bill, which was published in June of this year, provides for the setting up of the Grangegorman Development Agency.  The legislation follows the Government decision of 2002, and the Agency will have responsibility for the planning and implementation of a new campus for Dublin Institute of Technology on the Grangegorman site. 

Introducing the Bill, the Minister for Education and Science, Ms Mary Hanafin highlighted DIT's one-hundred-and-twenty year history and its contribution to education in Dublin and nationally.  Referring to the range of academic, professional and technological programmes offered by DIT, she said "The range, from apprentice upwards, and the variety of courses has meant that DIT has been particularly successful in attracting students from all strata of society.  The applied and technological bases of many of its programmes means DIT courses are firmly rooted in many areas of the economy, providing educated graduates and a unique level of expertise."

Referring to the Grangegorman project, she said "The move to Grangegorman will provide the basic research infrastructure, allowing the Institute to optimise the resources available and to maximise their exploitation."   Stating that the new campus will provide a real opportunity to develop research and to work even more closely with industry, she went to say that by locating DIT in the north-inner city, the Institute will also make a significant contribution to the re-development of this part of Dublin, socially, culturally and educationally.

The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said he was delighted that not only had the Bill passed second stage so quickly, but that it had done so with such warm support from Deputies on all sides of the House.  "We are very grateful to Minister Hanafin for her support in bringing this Bill to the Dáil so soon after her appointment, and for her very detailed understanding of the critical issues for DIT in making this new campus a reality.  We were also delighted that so many Deputies, from all parties and independents, had taken such an interest and had given their support.  We are determined to prove that their trust and support is well-placed."

Speaking about the next stage of the process, Professor Norton said the Institute's internal project team has already done a lot of groundwork in planning for the new campus, including building links with local communities.  He said "In addition to meeting our own objectives, we intend to ensure that we contribute not only to educational needs in the area, but also to cultural, social and economic development.  Being locally relevant is an important part of our mission and we propose to bring our strong tradition of local engagement and community links to our new location."

DIT is the largest educational establishment in the state, and is currently located in 39 buildings across Dublin city centre.  Its student population of 20,000+ includes those on full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes.  The plan to move to a new campus in Grangegorman will be implemented over a number of years, with all faculties planned to be on-site by 2010.  The project will be funded in large part through the disposal of its existing property portfolio.

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