Joining up the Dots ? Taoiseach launches employment study in Grangegorman

New study recommends integrated strategy for
employment and education as part of Grangegorman redevelopment

Story Taoiseach Dots

An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen TD, at the launch of
the Grangegorman employment study , 'Joining up the Dots'

25 May 2009

A large attendance gathered in Grangegorman today for the launch by An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen TD, of an employment study of the Grangegorman area. The new report,
'Joining up the Dots', shows that the future of Dublin?s north inner city will be greatly enhanced by the Grangegorman redevelopment project and identifies significant employment, education and training opportunities arising directly from the project. The report recommends the adoption of an integrated strategy to ensure that the full potential of the education and health campus development is realised, including the creation of more than 5000 jobs.

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An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD with
Professor Brian Norton, President and
Mr. Sean Dorgan, Chairman of DIT Governing Body

Speaking to an audience that included representatives of all six partners in the study as well as statutory and community organisations, the Taoiseach said

?The plans for Grangegorman are ambitious, a flagship development providing a modern consolidated campus for the Dublin Institute of Technology, as well as purpose built mental health facilities and primary health care for the local community. It would create new economic and social opportunities for people living in this part of Dublin and improve the health and education infrastructure of the City.

Our future economic success will depend on innovation and skills. Investment in education and training, lifelong learning and research will help us to earn our living in the world economy. These are strong themes of the report.?

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Welcoming An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD to Grangegorman are
Mr. John Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Grangegorman Development Agency;
Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT;
and Professor Brendan Drumm, Chief Executive of HSE

The study, entitled 'Joining up the Dots', was commissioned by a group of six organisations ? the CDVEC; DIT; FÁS; HSE; the Northwest Inner City Network; and the Grangegorman Development Agency. All are currently involved in the provision of education, training, health and community development in the area. They were represented at the event by Ms Jacinta Stewart, CEO of the CDVEC; Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT; Mr. Eddie Sullivan, Director General of FÁS; Mr. Danny Pender, Chairman of the Northwest Inner City Network; and Mr. John Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Grangegorman Development Agency.

The study identified that up to 5660 jobs will be created over the period up to the completion of the project and beyond. This jobs estimate includes 4,500 construction jobs alone, which is good news for an industry that has been one of the hardest hit by the recession. A further 1160 new posts are identified in the Science and Technology Park, retail, health, and education facilities in the new urban quarter.

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An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD with
Mr. John Fitzgerald, Chairman of the GDA;
Mr. Gerry Murphy, Chief Executive of
the GDA;
and Dr. Noel O?Connor, Head of Campus Planning, DIT

The report also highlights the many positives in the area, which is a very historic part of Dublin city, and which now has a rich cultural mix and a highly active community. In the last fifteen years there have been ?significant improvements in respect of most national indicators of disadvantage? but there remains a lot more to be done. The recommendations in the report offer a roadmap for ensuring that this progress continues, through an integrated plan developed by all the agencies and groups involved.

Introducing the report, Professor Brian Norton said ?The vision for this project is about creating a new, public, urban quarter in Dublin, that is underpinned by education and health, and that will sustain employment and economic activity. It will transform Dublin?s north inner city and will provide significant amenities and opportunities for the community. It will optimise the potential of Dublin Institute of Technology by bringing over 20,000 of our students and all of our activities together on one campus. These activities include wide-ranging education provision but also research and enterprise, and a proven track record in job creation through business development with over 1000 jobs created since 2001.?

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Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT,
Professor Brendan Drumm, Chief Executive of the HSE
and Mr. Gerry Murphy, CEO of the Grangegorman Development Agency
explain the detail of the masterplan model of the Grangegorman campus
to An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD

Before introducing An Taoiseach, John Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Grangegorman Development Agency, said the Agency was striving hard to ensure that the project advances quickly. ?I am very pleased to be able to say that to date some very significant milestones have been achieved -

  • The masterplan is complete
  • The Strategic Plan is with government awaiting approval
  • The construction of the temporary primary school is underway and expected to be ready in time for the new school year
  • The detailed design of the new DIT facilities and the DCC library on campus is well underway
  • A major planning application for a state of the art 66 bed replacement mental health facility is being submitted to Dublin City Council tomorrow

He said that in his experience of major urban projects, this development was one that contained all of the elements necessary to bring about significant social and economic benefit. He said it was vital that the findings of the report should be acted upon and its recommendations implemented. Towards that end, he announced that a ?Labour and Learning Partnership? is to be established and that Mr. David Connolly, Chief Executive of the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP) has agreed to chair it.

In his address to the large attendance, which included locally elected public representatives, as well as representatives of DIT, HSE and many local and national organisations, the Taoiseach said he was very pleased to be present to see at first hand the potential outlined in the report. He confirmed his commitment to the government decision of 2002 to develop the health and education campus, including moving DIT from its current 39 sites in the city to one location. He also said that Mr. John Fitzgerald has been asked to serve for a second term as Chair of the Grangegorman Development Agency and he thanked him for his work in that capacity. He noted that given the current economic contraction, the Government would have to base decisions on clear analysis of the costs and benefits of each project, but he said ?I am pleased to note therefore that some of the priorities identified in this report are closely aligned to the Government?s Smart Economy Framework.?

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Faces in the crowd at the launch of the employment study, Joining up the Dots.

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