Castlebar set to become a university town

Castlebar is set to become a university town.

That's according to the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris.

He confirmed to Mayo Senator Paddy Burke yesterday that the formal application for a technology university for the western region is due to be lodged by the end in of the month.

It follows a statement made in DáiI Éireann on the matter last Wednesday.

The minister stated: "I am really excited about the development of this new university for the west and the north-west.

"It will be transformational, not only in terms of access to education but also in creating a real powerhouse for jobs, investment and regional development.

"When one looks at the map of Ireland, one can see the need for that level of investment. It will change the economic profile of the region.

"Of course, it will make Castlebar a university town.

"Let me be clear, GMIT and the Castlebar campus will be major players.

"It will be a major campus as part of this university and I look forward to driving investment into the Castlebar facility as well."

Deputy Alan Dillon, who raised the matter with him, said: "The new technological university for the west and north-west of Ireland will be one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island.

"When approved, it will span a unique geographical region on the periphery of Europe which has a predominantly dispersed rural population."