Investment in ideas for James Cook University
James Cook University Australia (JCU) is one of the world's leading institutions which conducts nationally significant and internationally recognised research in areas such as: marine sciences; biodiversity; tropical ecology and environments; global warming; tourism and tropical medicine and public health care in under-served populations.
The University is sponsoring a $1.5bn redevelopment of its Campus at Townsville. The Project is called Discovery Rise and includes residential, hotel, academic, research and other property project opportunities.
The Queensland Government recently announced that they would be investing $5 million in a vibrant public space at the University, which will help unlock an adjacent master planned development, offering hundreds of future job opportunities for Townsville.
The public space, to be known as the ‘Ideas Market', is one of the first projects to be endorsed through the Government's ‘Catalyst Infrastructure Program' (CIP) – established to kick-start projects across Queensland which have incredible potential to accelerate economic and employment growth for a region.
The CIP is a Queensland Government initiative, to invest in urban infrastructure that unlocks development and creates construction and long-term employment. It will be administered by Economic Development Queensland (EDQ). CIP is generally defined as transport infrastructure, water supply, wastewater and storm water infrastructure however, other categories of infrastructure can be considered provided, they meet the loan eligibility criteria.
A total of $59.35 million is expected to be spent on the program over three years, commencing in the 2015 - 16 financial year.
It is hoped that the Ideas Market will become a vibrant social and entertainment hub, where the university and community can share new ideas and innovation.
Construction is due to commence in August 2016 and once it begins, it is hoped to attract further investment to develop other parts of the University. The Ideas Market will support jobs over two years, including positions for surveyors, builders, landscape architects and electricians.
Once work has been completed, Discovery Rise will connect the university, Ideas Market and research facilities to a residential and retail development with medical facilities. It is expected to provide 1,249 new construction jobs over a four year period and support a further 800 jobs in research, retail and health services.
Local Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, welcomed the investment in the university and Townsville.
“This $5 million investment has the potential to unlock $1.7 billion in private sector investment for Discovery Rise, which will mean jobs and economic growth for our region which could not come at a better time,” said Mr Harper.
The Queensland Government is committing $5 million dollars over two years to the Ideas Market under the CIP, with the money to be recycled back into the Program as the University repays the loan amount over 10 years.
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