Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Questions (37, 38)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

119 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism when he expects a decision to be made on the four expressions of interest received for the provision of a national conference centre in the Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6135/04]

View answer

Richard Bruton

Question:

139 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the position regarding the provision of a national conference centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6157/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 119 and 139 together.

As the Deputies are aware, the Office of Public Works received four submissions in response to its advertisement for expressions of interest in the provision of a national conference centre in the Dublin area. The closing date for receipt of submissions was 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 21 January 2004. Those submissions are currently undergoing detailed evaluation by an assessment panel representative of my Department, the Office of Public Works and its advisers, the Department of Finance, Fáilte Ireland and the National Development Finance Agency. A separate panel will subsequently evaluate the site proposals candidates were also required to put forward following which the next stage of the process will be initiated with a view to securing a final decision from Government in the autumn.

Subject to the acceptability of proposals, the national conference centre could, as envisaged in the expressions of interest notice, be constructed before the end of 2007.

Question No. 120 answered with QuestionNo. 106.