A factory that once employed over 1,000 people is to be the site of Killarney’s first third level college.
The Minister for Further and Higher Education has announced that the former Pretty Polly and Sara Lee site is to be developed into a college with an emphasis on hospitality.
There’ll also be courses in construction, renewable energy and future green technologies.
When completed, the campus will accommodate 4,000 full and part-time students.
Minister Simon Harris made the announcement at Kerry College Admissions Office on High Street, Killarney.
The minister said that the factory site, which has been vacant since 2009, will be transformed into a state-of-the-art campus.
The project will cost tens of millions of euro.
Minister Simon Harris says it’s a very important day for Killarney and for the hospitality sector.
The news have been welcomed by Minister Norma Foley, and by deputies Brendan Griffin, Michael , and Danny Healy-Rae.
Andrew Brownlee is the CEO of SOLAS, the state agency that oversees the building of the further education and training sector (FET).
He said: "Today's announcement marks an important step forward for learners and communities in the Kerry area, but also an important milestone in the evolution of further education and training facilities and provision nationwide."
Mr Brownlee said Killarney College of the Future will serve as a "beacon of community-based learning excellence."
CEO of Kerry Education and Training Board (ETB) Colm McEvoy said when the new campus is completed in Killarney, "it will provide a regional and national further education training campus that will benefit thousands of learners and support local, regional and national development."