Minister Harris announces significant milestone for NCAD as he confirms go ahead for next phase of proposal development for capital investment

Minister Harris visited NCAD's campus on Thomas Street today.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced a significant milestone in the development of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. 

Press Release, as issued at 11am, 28.06.23 

During the visit today to the College today, the Minister confirmed approval has been given to proceed to the next phase of the project proposal development under the Infrastructure Upgrade and Refurbishment Fund (IURF).   

The capital investment being proposed by the National College of Art and Design envisages the provision of a fit-for-purpose, modern campus at Thomas Street that supports Ireland’s future creative excellence in the fields of art, design, education and visual culture and associated research activity. 

NCAD’s proposal is to provide a campus that essentially equates to the provision of 26,500m2 of space that is appropriate for the disciplines of Art and Design and associated research activity. 

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Today is a key milestone as we see NCAD move to the next phase of the project life cycle under the Public Spending Code. 

“Through the HEA, we will collaborate with NCAD to further advance their plans for the refurbishment and transformation of their learner facilities, by creating an outstanding, inclusive and climate friendly environment.

“When realised it would continue to enhance the delivery for students with an intellectual disability. 

“Students with neurodiversity find it very challenging to find a quiet space in a very full, at capacity campus and this investment will help address these issues.

“I also want to commend the work that they do in providing and supporting art and design education in Ireland, offering a wide range of art and design degrees that are responsive to the needs of all learners, skills provision, and local communities which support and build the designers, thinkers and innovators of tomorrow."

The current approval permits the project to proceed (through Decision Gate 0) to the next stage of the assessment process for Infrastructure Upgrade Refurbishment Fund (IURF) - Decision Gate 1 – i.e. the development of a detailed Preliminary Business Case. 

Ciarán McCaffrey, Head of Capital Programmes in the HEA, said: "We welcome today’s announcement by the Minister of approval for the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) to move to the next phase of proposal development.

This approval allows NCAD to proceed to developing a Preliminary Business Case and the HEA will continue to work closely with NCAD on their proposal which seeks to address existing infrastructural deficits and provide a fit-for-purpose, modern campus at Thomas Street, Dublin.

Director of NCAD Professor Sarah Glennie said: “Today is a really significant day for NCAD, one of the top 100 global institutions in the QS World Rankings for art and design. As an engine of creative thinking, NCAD is delighted that our ambition for a renewed and reimagined campus is progressing. 

"Working with the historical post-industrial brownfield site, we aim to sustainably deliver a world-class creative, innovative, learning and engagement environment across our faculties, unlocking connectivity and academic exchange. 

"NCAD will work with the current site on Dublin’s Thomas Street in the heart of The Liberties.  A renewal of NCAD can also be a renewal of the Liberties; making visible innovative and creative endeavour at the heart of the city. The plan prioritises the government’s agenda around diversity & inclusion in education, life-long learning, regional skills and sustainable development.

"I would like to thank Minister Harris and the HEA for the support for our vision and their ongoing support of NCAD. Our development of the business case will continue in earnest, and we look forward to working with our stakeholders and partners to realise this project which will contribute to Ireland’s enormous potential as an international hub of creative excellence.”


PRESS/MEDIA CONTACT: Síona Cahill, DHR Communiucations:, 087-7530255