I propose to take Questions Nos. 204 and 205 together.
Under the Industrial Development Acts, the management of IDA Ireland’s property portfolio, including the provision of property solutions for client companies, is a day to day operational matter for the Agency and not one in which I have a function. I understand from IDA Ireland that the Agency has identified a number of locations where the private sector is unable to develop property solutions at present. In order to boost regional development and win new business, IDA Ireland proposes to build new advanced manufacturing facilities in Waterford and Athlone, and office space in Letterkenny. These particular locations have been chosen on the basis of projected opportunities, for which IDA Ireland are competing at present. The Agency is also reviewing the available property stock in Galway and Limerick.
I should add that IDA Ireland has already invested in a number of Business and Technology Parks in Galway city and county - Parkmore, Oranmore, Ballinasloe, Tuam, and Loughrea - and has purchased land for future strategic development in Athenry. The Agency also partners with the private sector in the promotion of appropriate property solutions for FDI.
With regard to the specific requirements of the Manufacturing Sector, the availability of suitable property at the right price and in the right place has long been an essential contributory factor in Ireland’s success in developing this sector. I am committed to ensuring that policy initiatives will address our ability to deliver property solutions which will cater in particular for the next wave of investment in advanced manufacturing. The shifting nature of the sector in higher technology activities is likely to place greater demands on high quality water, waste water, waste infrastructures and energy, which will also be addressed.
It is also worth remembering that County Galway has been particularly successful in recent years in terms of attracting inward investment particularly in the areas of Medical Technologies and ICT. There are currently 60 IDA Ireland client companies employing some 13,615 people in Galway, city and county. IDA Ireland has strong relationships with these companies and works closely with them to ensure their long term sustainability and to encourage their growth, development and continuing re-investment in their sites. During 2013, there were 1,098 new jobs created in IDA Ireland Client companies in Galway.