Written Answers. - Dublin Inner-City Industrial Development.

224.

asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism whether he will consider constructing a cluster development of industrial units suitable for the location of small manufacturing industry in the Dublin inner-city area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

225.

asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism if he is aware that the process of closures and re-location of industry over the past couple of years has left the Dublin inner-city area virtually without industry, particularly in the manufacturing sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

226.

asked the Minster for Industry, Commerce and Tourism the steps being taken by his Department, through the IDA, to promote employment in the Dublin inner-city area.

227.

asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism the number of sites purchased by the IDA for industrial development in the Dublin inner-city area in the past two years; and the projected employment figures which would result from such developments.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 224, 225, 226 and 227 together.

While I am seriously concerned at the loss of employment in manufacturing industry in the Dublin inner city in recent years as a result of industries having closed down or been re-located outside the area, I do not accept the Deputy's claim that the inner city has been virtually left without manufacturing industry.

The Industrial Development Authority have taken very positive steps to replace jobs lost and to provide new jobs in inner-city locations. During the past 18 months the IDA have approved almost 2,300 new jobs for the area. Last year the IDA set up a special unit to intensify their efforts to promote industrial development in the inner city. Almost £12 million has been committed by the IDA to the development of sites and buildings in the area. To date 12 acres has been acquired for industrial development at four inner-city locations. The IDA have provided or are in the course of providing approximately 400,000 sq. ft. of factory space in about 70 units of various sizes at three of these locations — Pearse Street, East Wall and the Liberties. Detailed plans for the fourth site, at Prussia Street, are at present being drawn up. Most of the factory units being provided in the area are suitable for small manufacturing enterprises.

The job potential associated with the four sites that have been purchased is 1,400.