Written Answers. - Job Initiative.

Austin Deasy

Question:

92 Mr. Deasy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will consider setting up a business park in Lismore, County Waterford, in conjunction with IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the enterprise board and educational authorities in west Waterford in an effort to solve the unemployment problem in the general west Waterford area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7137/01]

The management of the industrial property portfolio is a statutory function of IDA Ireland, as laid out in section 16 of the Industrial Development Act, 1986, and, accordingly, the provision and marketing of industrial development land is a day to day matter for IDA Ireland. However, I am assured by IDA Ireland that industrial property is being provided in order to assist industrial development in the Waterford area, to facilitate the establishment or expansion of grant aided industrial undertakings supported by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland clients.

IDA Ireland's strategy of achieving a better regional distribution of overseas mobile investment, away from the larger urban centres such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, is to present companies with credible alternatives, which go as far as possible towards meeting their demands. The main demands are easy access to international airports; larger population centres with a strong base of third level graduates; and availability of high quality business and technology parks, with attractive office and industrial buildings.

The agency's strategy for inward investment in County Waterford, which will impact positively on Lismore, is to focus on Waterford city and Dungarvan, in the growth sectors, such as information and communications technology for new greenfield investment and working with existing overseas companies to win expansions. Specifically, in the west Waterford area, IDA Ireland's main focus is the promotion of the privately owned 27,000 square feet advance factory, available in Dungarvan. Also, the agency has recently acquired a 35 acre site, located adjacent to the existing IDA Ireland industrial estate in the town, which will be developed as a business park.

In addition, IDA Ireland is committed to increasing the number of staff in Waterford by between ten and 15 personnel and these will include sectoral specialists who will actively work on the development of Waterford by building on its strengths as a base for foreign investment. IDA Ireland works in close co-operation with the enterprise board and the educational institutions in west Waterford and in particular with Enterprise Ireland in marketing and providing suitable land and buildings to the indigenous sector.
In this regard, while the establishment of business parks is the responsibility of IDA, I am informed that Enterprise Ireland is currently in discussion with a local community group in Lismore, regarding the provision of financial assistance towards a community enterprise centre. Enterprise Ireland has already approved financial support towards the establishment of community enterprise centres in Cappoquin and Tallow in the west Waterford area.
I further understand that Enterprise Ireland has eight development advisers based in the Waterford regional office. Their role is to maintain regular contact with its client companies in Waterford and to work with them to offer the full range of EI services. The agency will continue to provide financial assistance to individual companies in Waterford to help them to improve capability and competitiveness and to increase sales, exports and employment. It should also be noted that the provision of land for industrial development is not confined to IDA Ireland alone. The role for the private sector and the local authority in making lands available for both FDI projects and the needs of local enterprise must not be overlooked in the context of the need to assist enterprise development.