The industrial development agencies fully recognise the need to attract new industry and business into Ballinrobe.
The task force in Ballinrobe was established in 1999 under the chairmanship of the county manager following the closure of Betatherm. It undertook a study of 35 employees of Betatherm. Of these, 30 responded and of these 30, 17 have found employment. The local employment services group also organised training by FÁS for 14 people in order to assist these people to return to work.
I understand that the task force will shortly be wound up by the chairman and I will then receive a final report from him.
The promotion of the 22,000 sq. ft. factory in Ballinrobe is very much a priority for the agencies. However, it is important to realise that the final decision on where any project locates is made by the promoter of a project and not by the agencies.
When the current factory was completed in 1983, IDA Ireland entered into a 35 year lease with the owner. The current rent payable to the owner is just over £6,000 per month. When the factory is occupied, as was the case with Betatherm, the rent is recouped from the occupier.