Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (345)

Dara Calleary


345. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will outline the Industrial Development Agency Ireland plans for Castlebar; if it has initiated a feasibility study for future investment in the town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23267/14]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Through its range of overseas offices IDA Ireland markets Castlebar for inward investment as part of the West Region, which consists of Counties Mayo and Galway.

There are 78 IDA Ireland supported companies in the West Region, employing 17,000 people, of which 18 companies are located in County Mayo and employ over 3,700 people, mainly in the medical technologies and pharmaceutical sectors.

IDA Ireland is committed to supporting the growth and development of the West Region by working with the existing client base to retain jobs regionally and marketing to overseas clients in order to secure new Greenfield investment. IDA works closely with Enterprise Ireland to look at ways of positioning and strengthening the West Region for investment and is very keen to work with all stakeholders in the Region to enhance the region’s offering.

The IDA Business & Technology Park in Castlebar is situated on 10.85 ha (approx. 27 acre) site, of which 4.88 ha (approx. 12 acres) is currently available for investment projects. IDA Ireland also partners with the private sector to market suitable buildings as property solutions to potential foreign investors and has been actively marketing the former APC premises, which offers 75,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space on a 5.3 acre site.

Under the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are working with my Department to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of enterprise agencies and the other regional stakeholders in building enterprise based on sustainable competitive advantage of the region. 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 1st July, 2014. The results of these two exercises will form the basis of IDA Ireland’s strategy from 2015 onwards.