Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (322, 323)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

322. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the reason the newly built IDA advanced factory in Castlebar remains empty; and the steps she has taken and is planning to take to find a tenant for the factory and to bring jobs to Castlebar. [21069/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

323. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA visits that have taken place to the newly built IDA advanced factory in Castlebar, County Mayo; and the work the IDA is undertaking to bring jobs to Castlebar. [21070/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 322 and 323 together.

IDA Ireland’s primary regional development goal, as set out in its current strategy, is to increase investment by 30% to 40% in every region of Ireland. An important way for the Agency to deliver on this goal is to help potential overseas investors in the regions find suitable commercial property. With that aim in mind, the IDA launched its Regional Property Programme (RPP) in 2015 to ensure a better supply of commercial properties suitable for investment outside Dublin.

As well as upgrading existing buildings and acquiring strategic sites suitable for foreign direct investment (FDI), the RPP includes the construction of nine advance facilities around the country. Two such facilities were constructed and completed in Athlone and Waterford in 2014 and early 2015. Further buildings were completed last year, including in Castlebar. The facility in the town is now being actively marketed to potential investors by the Agency. Whilst there have been two site visits to County Mayo as of the first quarter of 2018, data on IDA Ireland site visits is collated on a county-by-county basis only. Information on the number of site visits to specific locations in individual counties is therefore unavailable.

It is the case that the overall FDI trends in Mayo are positive, with 16 IDA supported companies employing 4,462 people in the County. In the last two years, two notable successes have been the Coca-Cola Company announcing an investment of €26 million in its Ballina operations and Fort Wayne Metals Ireland announcing a €10 million expansion of its production operations in Castlebar. The County experienced a 26% increase in FDI related employment from 2012 to 2017 and the IDA is working hard to create further employment opportunities there.