Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The site of the old Capitol Cinema complex.

The site of the old Capitol Cinema complex.

DEVELOPING the former Capitol Cineplex into as a National Food Centre remains a key priority for Cork, Minister Simon Coveney has said.
The Cineplex site has remained vacant since it closed in 2005 and the loan covering the property is currently in NAMA.
Minister Coveney said he was confident that a partnership could be arranged between Cork City Council, NAMA and the owners of the site to develop the location.
The City Council has been looking for ways to capitalise on the popularity of the world-famous English Market without impacting its ongoing function as an important trading location for Corkonians to buy fresh food.
It is hoped that such a food centre at the former Cineplex would allow for a range of activities to promote Cork food.
The Minister for Agriculture and Food said: “The Cineplex site is arguably the most strategic site that needs to be redeveloped given its location at the junction of Washington Street and the Grand Parade. It is one of six or seven key projects for Cork that hopefully will be progressed over the next two years, which include the events centre, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the new office block on Albert Quay, the Science Park in Curraheen, Ringaskiddy Port and maritime and energy cluster and a National Diaspora Centre.
“The Food Centre project is not as advanced as some of these but I am confident significant progress on it can be made over the next six months.
“What is needed is vision and a partnership between a private developer and Cork City Council to move this project forward, one that makes sense for NAMA and the current owners of the Cineplex.
“I am very optimistic that Cork is now moving in the right direction. I said it earlier this year that 2014 needs to be the ‘move’ year for Cork and we must be ambitious for our city.”
The Minister said it was very important that Cork was seen as the food capital of Ireland and said that such a centre would form a major element of the region’s reputation when it came to food production.
Cork City Council is conducting a study into what a National Food Centre might include with a cookery school; food court; incubation space to help new suppliers develop their products; and a venue for events and conferences amongst the suggested uses.
The Minister added: “It is a big site and there is potential to do a lot with it.
“There would need to be an anchor tenant on the site and we have been in discussions with commercial businesses and have also spoken with UCC and CIT about creating an incubation hub similar to the Rubicon centre, but for food.”

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By Alan Healy
Contact Newsdesk: 021 4272722

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