Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ceisteanna (26)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

26. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her views on whether the EU regional aid status of Kells and north County Meath granted in 2014 has had a positive impact in terms of local investment or incentives and grants to encourage employers to locate in the area; her views on whether enough has been done to promote Kells and north County Meath as a location for investment and business development; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4432/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Regional development remains an absolute priority of mine. I am focused on both supporting and sustaining existing employment levels in regional Ireland while also working to create new economic opportunities and jobs in every county of Ireland. I am pleased to say that total employment in IDA Ireland's client companies now stands at 229,057, with 58% of all IDA employment outside of Dublin. This represents the highest number of people employed by IDA clients outside of Dublin in the history of the Agency.

The IDA regularly engages with key stakeholders on the ground in Counties Kildare and Meath including with local authorities, public bodies, the education sector and companies from both its own client base but also from the indigenous sector. The Agency also owns sites in both counties that are actively marketed to its clients through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas. I am confident that the ongoing work by the IDA in the region will lead to more investment and job creation for the wider area in due course.  

Meath has seen a 4% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) employment in the last year. There are now 19 IDA-supported client companies in the County employing 1,632 people. Meath continues to maintain a strong contingent of overseas firms in the Financial Services, Manufacturing and Biotechnology sectors with key clients such as ArcRoyal, International Fund Services and Alltech performing well in the County.  The client base there shows that the area remains an attractive destination for FDI and overseas firms.

IDA client companies in County Kildare collectively employ 8,838 people, representing an increase of 4.5% over the previous year. The County is home to overseas firms in the Technology, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals sectors.  IDA clients such as Intel, Pfizer, and Procter and Gamble are all located in Kildare and continue to perform well.