A vacant Limerick city centre site is to be bought by the University of Limerick and developed into a city campus.

The university will purchase the site, formerly occupied by Dunnes Stores, on Sarsfield Bridge for €8 milllion.

Dr Des Fitzgerald, UL President, said, "I am very happy to have the full support of the UL Governing Authority in our commitment to bring UL closer to the city centre. I am also very pleased to have the opportunity to revitalise a site in the city that has been lying vacant for so long. 

"It is fitting that UL's presence in the city will be on the water front mirroring our magnificent riverside campus just four kilometres away," he explained. 

The UL City Campus will aim to bring together Law, Business, and Entrepreneurship in Technology and create a hub for developing and supporting enterprises in the city. 

"It will allow for the further development of existing collaborations with the practitioner base in business, law, education, health and the growing number of technology companies," Dr Fitzgerald said.

Welcoming the news, the Mayor of Limerick, James Collins, said it will remove one of the biggest eyesores in the city centre, and replace it with a new riverside city centre campus for UL.

"The public have been very clear in their support of Limerick Council in our efforts to have this site placed on the Vacant Sites Register," Mr Collins said. The council had offered to buy the site in the past, and more recently, there were protests outside the empty building highlighting the need for this site to be used or developed. 

"This marks a very significant day for Limerick city - it’s a win-win for UL, the council, Dunnes Stores and the people of Limerick," Mayor  Collins said.