Benefits programme plan to help community around new new National Children's Hospital
A community benefits programme for the area surrounding the new National Children's Hospital is being developed at an estimated cost of €92,000.
Headed by Gordon Jeyes, the chief executive of the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, the group will spearhead initiatives, including community benefit clauses, to maximise the impact of the hospital in Dublin 8.
The National Children's Hospital Employment, Economic and Health Benefit Advisory Group includes representatives from local regeneration bodies, who have long championed the idea, and Dublin City Council (DCC), among others.
The budget of €92k comes from several partners and will be used in part to pay a Community Benefit Coordinator who will be appointed for a three -year term to co-ordinate the input of all the different bodies and to liaise with the community and with the development company.
A planning application is due to be lodged shortly to seek permission to build the €650m hospital.
In an email to Jim Keogan, assistant planning chief, on March 5 this year, chief executive of DCC Owen Keegan said "It seems strange that this is being led by Tusla".
However, the appointment of Mr Jeyes was due to his experience on a similar scheme in Scotland, a spokeswoman for Tusla explained.
"Having chaired Scotland's first urban regeneration company I am acutely aware of the importance of projects like the Children's Hospital Development in providing opportunities to promote the health and well-being of local communities and to develop training and employment, not simply at the building phase, but in the very exciting high-tech jobs to come later," Mr Jeyes said in a statement.
Documents released to the Herald outline the aims of the committee in creating both short and long-term opportunities for local people in the area as a result of the hospital.
Community Benefit Clauses (CBCs) will be included in all procurement contracts for the hospital, which will mandate specific requirements such as a minimum level of local jobs to be created.
There will also be a "supply delivery forum" which will be "responsible for the preparedness of labour and sub-contractors to benefit from the hospital campus-related opportunities drawn from the local community".
The model will follow the example of the Southern Glasgow Hospital Development and a representative from the hospital was invited to give a presentation on how the scheme works there. Under the scheme, training opportunities and the health advantages will all be exploited to benefit the local community.