Written Answers. - Industrial Development in Trim.

41.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware of the closure of Torc Dataprint Limited, in Trim, County Meath; the efforts being undertaken by the relevant State agencies to ensure a takeover and restart of the company's operations; if he is aware that Trim has suffered disproportionately from industrial closures in recent years; the number of site visits in each of the last three years arranged by the IDA to Trim; his views on the relative lack of success of these three visits in attracting industry to Trim; the comparison between the number of site visits to Trim by the IDA and to other towns of similar size in Leinster; his views on whether Trim warrants being designated an area for higher industrial grants under the criteria in the recent NESC and ESRI studies on the designation of areas for higher industrial grants; and if he will give an indication of the available land and facilities for industrial development in Trim.

I am aware of the closure of Torc Dataprint Limited. The IDA have advised me that a receiver was appointed to the company on 19 March 1987 and since then the authority has been actively promoting a takeover of the facility. Negotiations with an overseas company are taking place but are as yet at a very early stage.

While Trim has had a number of closures over the last number of years, I am not aware that it has suffered disproportionately in this respect.

Over the last three years 26 site visits have taken place to Trim and are broken down on an annual basis as follows:

April 1984-March 1985

11

April 1985-March 1986

10

April 1986-March 1987

5

As a result of these site visits one company, Franklin Pharmaceuticals, which has recently set up in Trim is expected to provide 24 jobs within two years of commencement of production. It should be noted that a company may take a number of years after a site visit to decide if it will establish a project in Ireland.

I understand that the number of site visits by industrialists to Trim over recent years compares favourably with the number of similar site visits to other comparable towns in Leinster but I would point out that I have no function in this regard and that it is entirely a matter for industrial promoters themselves to determine the areas which they wish to visit.

With regard to the question of designation of Trim under the Industrial Development Act, 1986, the results of the ESRI study on designation are currently being studied in my Department. No decision regarding changes in the designation of areas will be taken before this examination is completed and the matter is considered by the Government. In these circumstances it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the question of the designation of any particular area.

The IDA are actively promoting an advance factory of 28,260 sq. ft. and 18.5 acres of land which it has available for industrial development in Trim.