Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (286)

Paudie Coffey


286. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide in tabular form the number of Industrial Development Agency site visits made to Waterford in the years 2010 to 2013, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5371/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I have been informed by IDA Ireland that there were 62 agency sponsored site visits by potential investors to County Waterford from 2010 to 2013 inclusive. Details of these site visits made to Waterford in each of the years from 2010 to 2013 are set out in the following tabular statement.

There are currently 28 IDA client companies employing over 5,000 people in Waterford city and county. I should also like to say that during 2013 there were two significant IDA investment announcements for Waterford. In February, Sanofi announced plans to invest €44m in Genzyme’s biotechnology campus in Waterford. This investment will increase the site’s diversity of products and comes on top of a €150m investment a little more than a year previously. The investment ensures that the Waterford facility, which currently employs approximately 500 people, can produce the company’s latest products and provides an indication of the Waterford site’s value to the company. In March, Nypro Healthcare announced plans to establish an additional state of the art medical devices facility in Waterford. This will result in the creation of over 200 new high quality jobs in the coming years. Furthermore, IDA Ireland has announced plans to build a new advanced manufacturing facility in Waterford to enhance the offering in the region to win new business.

There are many complex factors influencing investor location decision-making such as the increasing preference of investors globally for cities of scale with 1 million plus population, significant challenges from lower cost locations in the UK and Eastern Europe and attractive regional aid. To support IDA Ireland’s marketing efforts for the Region and Waterford, IDA Ireland has rolled out a dedicated digital marketing initiative for inward investment focusing on the South East Region and Waterford (Connect and Invest Waterford). Initiatives such as this can enhance the marketability of the location for investment at a very early stage in a perspective client’s decision-making process.

IDA remains a key supporter of the South East Employment Action Plan which brings together a number of stakeholders in addressing the persistent employment challenges faced in the South East Region. I have requested IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to work with my Department so that we can explore what further initiatives we can take to ensure we have a better approach to enterprise development in regional locations. This exercise will complement the in-depth analysis of our FDI strategy which is currently being undertaken by Forfás and which will take account of factors such as key trends emerging in FDI best practice internationally, Ireland’s strengths in attracting FDI and any changes to the EU’s State Aid Rules, which will come into effect on 1 July 2014. The results of these two exercises will form the basis of IDA’s strategy from 2015 onwards.

It is important to note that the employment strategy for Waterford and the South East has not just focused on foreign investors. Companies such as Eistech, Dawn Meats, FeedHenry and Danone have been supported by my Department to create almost 900 jobs over the coming year.

Table showing the number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to County Waterford in each of the years 2010 to 2013 inclusive

County Waterford