New plans announced last week for the old Ferry Terminal in Dun Laoghaire will see it transformed into a state-of-the-art centre for technology, marine and design businesses which could support up to 1,000 jobs. Under the proposed plans, the old ferry terminal will become the Harbour Innovation Campus, a state-of-the-art shared innovation space for multi-national companies, local start-ups and specialist manufacturing firms.
The Ferry Terminal is owned by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, who have agreed to lease the buildings to the Harbour Innovation Campus (HIC). Speaking on the proposed plan, CEO of the Dun Laoghaire harbour Company Gerry Dunne said; ‘’I am very pleased to announce the news today as the transformation of the old ferry terminal into the Harbour Innovation Campus will reinvigorate the town as a whole and generate around 1,000 jobs new job. On top of this, it will be a major boost to the local economy and local employment as these workers spend money in the surrounding area.’’
On the attraction of Dun Laoghaire for businesses, Gerry said; ‘’Dun Laoghaire is an excellent location for such a facility. The old Ferry Terminal is a unique site, close to the city and with excellent rail and bus links. The HIC is a real opportunity for Dun Laoghaire to become the central innovation and technology hub for Dublin, if not for the whole country. We are hopeful that it will be operational by mid-2018.’’
The Harbour Innovation Campus will become the largest innovation hub in Ireland and one of the largest in the entire EU. It will comprise of a total of 75,000 square feet across the former arrivals hall, departure lounge, baggage hall and ticket office buildings.
Phillip Gannon, the entrepreneur behind the HIC venture, plans to attract a diversity of businesses to the campus. ‘’Included in the overall plan for St. Michael’s Pier, this innovation campus will not only house innovative tech companies and marine-based enterprises, but also plans to provide a world class makerspace on site for creative prototype design in wood, metal, plastic and electronics. It will also provide a space within the innovation units for bigger businesses and a range of affordable hot-desks for people working remotely.’’
Speaking about Dublin taking its place among the most innovative and influential cities in the world, Mr. Gannon said “London has its ‘Canary Wharf’ and San Francisco has it’s ‘Fisherman’s Wharf’ whereas Dublin yearns for its own coastal hub and this is it. Inside, founders, innovators and entrepreneurs will find several VC funds, a wide range of trained mentors and numerous business advisors all focussed on helping occupants to grow their businesses.”.