Planning permission has been granted to transform the former ferry passenger terminal on St Michael’s Pier in Dun Laoghaire into a Harbour Innovation Campus.
Private investor Philip Gannon got the green light for the project to lease the iconic building and invest more than €20m transforming it into an enterprise space, which will be a digital technology hub able to support up to 1,000 jobs.
At more than 7,000 sqm, the Harbour Innovation Campus will be the largest technology hub in Ireland and one of the top five in Europe.
It will be a one-stop shop for companies that want to rapidly apply advances in technologies such as IoT, blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, block chain, cyber security, data analytics and 5G, to sectors such as agriculture, health, finance, manufacturing and finance.
Local councillor Barry Ward, Fine Gael general election candidate in Dun Laoghaire, has warmly welcomed the decision to grant planning permission.
“The Ferry Terminal has been vacant since Stena left in 2015, far too long, so it is great that this space will now be a hub for tech innovation in Dun Laoghaire providing jobs and industry for the town and the harbour area,” said Cllr Ward.
“I have been an enthusiastic supporter of this project and Philip Gannon’s vision from the beginning and I know it will be a strong boost for the harbour, which is suffering from a severe lack of investment.”
Philip Gannon, the founder, CEO and private investor behind the project, said: “We have received overwhelming support from local residents and businesses who all understand the huge benefits that this project will bring to the area.
“This culturally significant building has been lying empty for over four years and is quickly falling into a state of dereliction and decay.
“A place where people used to go to emigrate will now become world-class innovation space that will showcase Ireland’s capabilities in technology, create employment and bring social and economic prosperity not only to Dun Laoghaire and the surrounding areas, but the country as a whole”.