It’s hoped the newly-opened LIT Ennis campus will help deliver a significant boost in employment in Clare.
The Bindon Street campus has officially been opened today, with close to 100 students already undertaking courses there, with that set to double in the coming months.
Limerick Institute of Technology has been offering courses in Clare for 15 years but now, for the first time, a dedicated campus is up and running in Ennis.
The Bindon Street building forms part of what’s been dubbed the “Education Quarter” in the county town and has been refurbished to a high standard, thanks to a €750,000 investment from Clare County Council.
Around 100 students are already undertaking courses there now, with capacity for 500 in total, so it’s hoped there will be significant growth – and quickly.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy is confident this will be a significant economic boost for the town.
Clare’s Junior Minister says the new campus is not only a boost in terms of educational opportunities in the county, but it will also mean they will have another tool to use in attracting foreign direct investment.
Already, LIT provides a number of courses where workers can learn on the job and Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen says this will be key in targeting jobs growth here.
It’s also hoped that the next few years will see technological university status granted to LIT, which will prove an even bigger boost for the region.
LIT President Professor Vincent Cunnane says though it won’t happen overnight, he’s confident it’s coming down the line.
Meanwhile, the President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce is hopeful that LIT will add a fresh vibrancy to the county town.
Gwen Culligan, who runs The County Boutique on O’Connell Street, is confident that it will encourage school-leavers to stay here to learn and work, rather than move away.