Written Answers. - Job Creation.

Gerry Reynolds


39 Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of IDA assisted jobs created between 1998 and 2001 in Counties Wicklow, Meath, Kildare, Sligo, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10688/02]

The following table outlines the number of new jobs created in each of the listed counties during the years 1998 to 2001 inclusive:


New Jobs Created















*Source: Forfás Employment Survey
As can be seen from the table the counties located in the eastern part of the country have traditionally out-performed counties located in the BMW – Border, midlands, west – region in terms of job creation. However, in recent times IDA Ireland has placed a greater emphasis on developing and creating new investment in the BMW region. The establishment of the MBNA project in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, is a direct result of this renewed focus and is reflected in a significant increase in the level of new jobs created in County Leitrim in the year 2001.
As part of IDA's strategy on regional development, the agency is committed to placing 50% of all new investment in the BMW region, which means doubling the proportion of greenfield jobs negotiated for this region. IDA is focusing particularly on attracting medical devices, ICT, engin eering and internationally traded services-software sectors to the region.
IDA has headquartered national responsibilities for health care property and regional development in Athlone, bringing the total staff complement to 35 people. The agency has also relocated staff from international services and consumer products divisions from Dublin to Sligo, bringing the staff complement there up to 15. The purpose of these moves is to drive growth from within the regions, and to develop the BMW region as a magnet for growth and investment.
The changes in policy which have occurred have also involved intensive and radically changed marketing approaches by the IDA team working in close partnership with the local authorities and the third level colleges and universities across the country. Despite the ongoing retrenchment in the US economy, which is the source of a significant proportion of overseas investment, IDA continues to strive towards maintaining this level of investment in the BMW region.
However, improved access is crucial to attracting new overseas investment to the regions and in this context the importance of improved air and road access cannot be over emphasised. This has been recognised in the National Development Plan 2000-2006, which includes plans to bring our roads, railway and air services up to a standard consistent with a modern economy within the next four years. Availability of high quality telecommunications and energy supplies are also essential. IDA Ireland will keep in close contact with relevant infrastructure providers to ensure they are aware of IDA's priorities.