Monday, October 19, 2020

A planned rum distillery that was to form part of Ballina’s multi-million euro Military Barracks digital hub development has fallen through, it has been confirmed.

An artist’s impression of the Ballina Innovation Quarter.

Mayo Co Council told the Western People on Friday that the investors who were considering establishing a distillery in the Ballina Innovation Quarter development have decided to take a different strategic route.

Funding for the €3.2m innovation centre was approved in September 2019.

It will involve the refurbishment of the 20,000 sq ft military barracks at the centre of Ballina.

The complex, which dates back to 1742, has been vacant for many years but is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art digital hub and innovation centre with the capacity to create significant employment while also incorporating a third level university outreach element.

The hub will be comprised of 20 spaces for technology, digital media and internet companies to scale and grow alongside local enterprises.

The completed development will address many of Ballina’s strategic challenges while also acting as a catalyst for urban regeneration.

While the loss of the distillery element of the Ballina Innovation Quarter proposal may necessitate some minor modifications, it will not significantly impact delivery of the hub, Mr Tom Gilligan, Director of Services for the Ballina Municipal District said, explaining that efforts to attract an alternative industry will continue while the development is being progressed.

At present the tender issue for the development is scheduled for late November 2020. Tender openings are scheduled for mid-January 2021 with the contract award and commencement on site due to take place around mid-March 2021.

It is anticipated that the development will be complete by September, 2022.

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