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Penrose seeks redoubling of efforts to secure industry for Mullingar

7 December 2017

Statement by Willie Penrose TD
Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural & Community Affairs

Labour TD for Longford Westmeath, Willie Penrose, has called on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the IDA, to redouble their efforts to secure a significant industry for the 22.5 hectare IDA Business and Technology park at Marlinstown in Mullingar.

It comes in response to a Parliamentary Question put by Deputy Penrose to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Deputy Penrose said:

“This is a fully zoned and serviced site located at the junction of major primary and secondary roads, right in the centre of the country, with a turnaround time of around one hour to our principle airport and major ports.

“We have the educated skills base and a willing workforce, which is a very important asset, and a positive business environment.

“I have recently spoken directly to the CEO of the IDA, Martin Shanahan, and urged him to make Mullingar a priority from an IDA perspective, and to accelerate its promotion, which I hope will be taken on board.

“I was also disappointed that in the response from the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to my parliamentary question the IDA couldn’t provide details on the specific locations of visits by its clients to the Midlands this year, and in particular the visits that had been organised or sought by their clients in respect of Mullingar, Athlone and Longford.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For Written Answer on : 29/11/2017
Question Number(s): 86 Question Reference(s): 50894/17
Department: Business, Enterprise and Innovation
______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Business; Enterprise and Innovation the number of visits organised by the IDA to the midland region to date in 2017; the number of these visits that were to IDA sites in Athlone and Mullingar, respectively; the details of all vacant property owned by the IDA in Mullingar and Athlone County Westmeath; if the IDA has planned other visits to Mullingar before 31 December 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

IDA Ireland markets Mullingar and Athlone as part of the Midlands Region, which includes three other counties: Longford, Laois and Offaly. There are 30 multinational companies based in the region, employing 4,280 people across all four counties. County Westmeath has a strong base of foreign direct investment (FDI) with 13 companies employing 2,571 people.

The Agency is determined to increase those numbers and it has appointed a dedicated Regional Manager to the region to further aid its efforts to grow investment in the wider area.

To the end of the third quarter this year there have been 47 site visits to the Midlands.  The IDA does not provide details on the specific locations visited by clients, however, on account of commercial sensitivity. It should also be noted that whilst site visits can be a useful indicator of new investment interest, they are not necessarily indicative of the potential for FDI in an area. I would point out, in this regard, that almost 70% of investment comes from existing IDA clients.

In terms of property available for marketing to potential investors, there is a 22.5 hectare IDA Ireland business and technology park located in Marlinstown, Co Westmeath. The park is fully zoned and serviced and is currently home to one IDA client company, an engineering and industrial firm which employs approximately 40 people at the site. 

The IDA is also investing directly in property solutions for FDI in the Midlands and has received planning permission for one office building in Athlone, which should be ready for occupation in 2018. This is in addition to an advanced technology building which is now occupied by a pharmaceutical company.

The table below provides full details of the buildings available for marketing in both Mullingar and Athlone.

 

 

 

  Location

   Building Name  

   Total Size sq. ft./sq. m.  

Athlone

AF4 (former NPD facility)

41,990 sq ft / 3,901sqm

Mullingar

Clonmore facility

25,200 sq ft / 2,341sqm