Work has begun on a multi-million euro development programme in Limerick that is expected to result in the generation of thousands of jobs over the next five years.

The rejuvenation project, known as Limerick Twenty Thirty, will see over €500m worth of investment in construction in the city.

The 100,000 sq ft Gardens International Office on Henry Street will be the first speculative build under the programme, which will see investment in creating state-of-the-art office, retail, residential, education and enterprise space in Limerick.

'The Gardens' contract, which will be developed at a cost of €17.6m, is the first of three major projects aimed at transforming inner city Limerick, creating 1.4m sq ft of prime real estate for various uses.

The Gardens building is set to accommodate 750 posts and support 150 jobs during construction.

The programme is aimed at providing 5,000 jobs in the city before 2022.

Limerick Twenty Thirty Chairman Denis Brosnan said: "This is a very important day for Limerick Twenty Thirty, for Limerick and the wider region.

"This will be the catalyst for a new era of growth for Limerick as this is the first in a wider programme that is going to transform Limerick into a dynamic living and working city capable of competing with the leading destinations in Europe for inward investment."

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the CEO of Limerick City and County Council said the Gardens International Office, purchased from NAMA, cost approximately €800,000.

Conn Murray said he believes taxpayers will get a good return for their money.

There was a demand in Limerick, he said, for high-quality office space and it is hoped the redevelopment would be completed within 18 months.

Negotiations for a tenant are under way, he added.