IDA Ireland and Shannon Development are the only two agencies under the remit of my Department who hold industrial property portfolios. Under legislation both agencies are independent in the exercise of their property function. Property solutions to companies who are clients of Enterprise Ireland are also provided by IDA Ireland. As part of the restructuring of Shannon Development, the enterprise support functions have transferred to IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. This will ensure the continuation of support to both FDI and indigenous enterprises in the region. In addition, IDA Ireland is in the process of purchasing lands in the National Technology Park in Limerick and the Raheen Business and Technology Park from Shannon Development. By bringing together the remaining property functions of a restructured Shannon Development with the Shannon Airport Authority under the umbrella of the new Shannon Group, the combination of the airport business with the adjoining industrial property portfolio can provide the region with the capacity to exploit sectoral opportunities and crucially those in the aviation sector.
In respect of IDA Ireland, the empirical results of international research has demonstrated that the availability of suitable property solutions is a key element in the location decision making process undertaken by prospective investors in determining where projects will locate. Most International development agencies with which IDA Ireland competes hold substantial stocks of such properties.
In recent years, IDA Ireland has taken the decision to rationalise its non-core land holdings in a number of locations throughout the country. Land holdings are initially offered to Local Authorities and recent examples of rationalisation of IDA Ireland non-core lands completed include the transfer of lands to Roscommon County Council, Donegal County Council, Wicklow County Council and South Dublin County Council. In addition, current transfers in legal process include Cork County Council, Leitrim County Council, Wexford County Council and discussions are on-going with Galway County Council, Sligo County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Kilkenny County Council. The Agency has explained that non-core lands which are not required by the Local Authorities are placed on the Open Market for disposal. IDA Ireland also markets non-core lands and properties directly to stakeholders including; OPW, HSE, Chambers of Commerce, An Post and other similar bodies through active engagement in sharing portfolio information with common objectives. IDA Ireland keeps its property portfolio under constant review and of course the matter will again be reviewed in the context of the work currently being undertaken on the preparation of a new strategy for the Agency from 2015 onwards.