Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (303, 304)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

303. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA premises in Waterford city and county; the status of same; if they are occupied; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5343/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Butler

Ceist:

304. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the reason Waterford lags far behind other cities on IDA job creation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5344/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 303 and 304 together.

My Department and its agencies continue to work towards ambitious targets to ensure that employment and investment are distributed as evenly as possible across the country. Significant progress is being made, with 58% of all IDA-supported employment now outside of Dublin. 2018 also saw more IDA jobs added in the regions than at any time over the past 17 years.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in Waterford are also trending in the right direction. There are 38 IDA client companies in the County employing approximately 7,100 people, representing an increase of 3% over last year. Since 2012, Waterford has also witnessed a 38% increase in employment in overseas companies. Waterford has maintained a strong reputation as a successful home to firms from the MedTech and Pharmaceuticals sectors. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Opko's Irish subsidiary EirGen Pharma are all located there and continue to perform well.

In terms of recent investments, Bausch and Lomb announced in November that it will expand its contact lens manufacturing capacity at its Waterford site which will create up to 100 new jobs. In October 2018 Eurofins BioPharma opened a new extension to its laboratory facility in Dungarvan, more than doubling its facility footprint. Furthermore, last July, West Pharmaceuticals opened a new global centre of excellence in Waterford City for its advanced manufacturing network.

As regards IDA property, the Agency has a total of three buildings in County Waterford. All of these premises are available for investment and are being actively marketed to clients through its network of offices. Under its Regional Property Programme (RPP), the IDA also constructed an Advanced Technology Building in the city which is now home to EirGen Pharma. The next phase of the RPP will include the construction of a further facility in the County.

While progress has been made in helping to generating new investment in County Waterford, the Government remains determined to attract more FDI to Waterford City and the wider area. The work of the IDA is obviously key in that respect and the Agency's staff will continue engaging with its clients, as well as the other enterprise agencies, to help create more jobs and economic opportunities.