Some 160 jobs are to be created over the next two years by the Irish Institute of Music and Song, which is investing €12 million in a new campus in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
The brainchild of One4All founder Michael P Dawson and his son Michael T Dawson, the campus is expected to draw more than 250,000 attendees per year when it is fully completed in the first quarter of 2023.
The campus will be home to a music school, a ten-bed luxury boutique hotel, shared accommodation for groups or students, a cafe and restaurant, and a 400-seat concert hall. It is to be situated in two of the most historic homes in the area: Bedford House and Bedford Hall.
The project has been privately funded to date by the Dawsons who made their fortune with giftcard specialist One4All, which was acquired in a €100 million deal by US global financial technology group Blackhawk in 2018.
“What we are developing here is a whole new musical eco system where students get to learn, share and develop alongside experienced and accomplished musicians from around Ireland and beyond,” said Michael Dawson snr.
His son is chief executive of the IIMS, which was originally founded at the Fingal Academy of Music.
“Our vision is to increase access to quality music education at primary, secondary and third-level, provide inspiring musical experiences and connect Ireland with the world through music performance and education,” he said.
The new development has been welcomed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin who said it marks a major milestone for Irish music.