Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Questions (16)

Tony McLoughlin


16. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the progress being made under the IDA regional property programme in terms of developing landing space to attract FDI to County Sligo; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40773/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The Government is committed to supporting job creation and investment in the regions, including in County Sligo and the North-West as a whole. We are determined to ensure that employment and investment are distributed as evenly as possible across the country and we have set ambitious targets in pursuit of that goal.

A "Landing Space" in Sligo was opened in November 2018 as a partnership between IDA Ireland, IT Sligo and Sligo County Council. It provides open plan, turnkey office space in Sligo City for companies who wish to quickly and effectively establish operations in the North-West region. The addition of this fast landing space has boosted Sligo's attractiveness to multinational companies and is a selling point for the area from a wider enterprise perspective.

County Sligo has also benefited from the IDA's Regional Property Programme (RPP), with the construction of an Advanced Technology Building there in 2017. The IDA successfully leased this facility to Abbott, leading to the creation of valuable new jobs for the area. Abbott's presence in Sligo also serves as another endorsement of the County's potential and should help to attract further foreign direct investment to the North West.

My Department and the IDA are determined to build on this success. That is why the second phase of the RPP includes plans for further facilities in Sligo. The IDA has already obtained planning permission for an Advanced Office Building and its construction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year. In addition, the Agency will construct an Advanced Technology Building in Sligo with construction expected to start at the beginning of 2020. Once the first and second phases of the RPP are completed, a total of three buildings will have been constructed in Sligo by the IDA. I am confident that these will stimulate further investment and job creation for the County and the wider North-West region.

There are other grounds for optimism that Sligo will continue to experience FDI-driven job growth, not least the number of recent job announcements there. For example, Allstate Sales Group chose Sligo as their first location outside of the US with plans to create 100 new jobs. GW Plastics has announced plans to expand its existing operations at Finisklin, which will create 200 new positions. These investments are a great vote of confidence in Sligo and they build on our commitment under the North-West Regional Enterprise Plan to boost investment and job creation for the region.

While progress has been made in helping to generate new economic opportunities in Sligo, the Government remains determined to achieve more. Our work will therefore continue, across Government, to further unlock the economic potential of the County.