Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (295)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

295. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA site visits to Waterford city in each of the past four years; and her plans for the promotion of Waterford for foreign direct investment. [46410/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

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.

When it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), site visits do represent a valuable tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas. However, as I have said before, site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant percentage of all new FDI comes from existing IDA client companies.

Site visit data is collated on a county by county basis and information on site visits to specific cities and towns is therefore unavailable. As regards Waterford as a whole, the County hosted 16 site visits over the first three quarters of this year.

The IDA continues to actively market locations in Waterford to potential investors. Under its Regional Property Programme (RPP), the Agency has constructed two Advanced Technology Buildings (ATBs) in the County. The first ATB was completed in 2015 and is currently occupied by EirGen Pharma. The second ATB was completed earlier this year and the IDA is currently seeking, through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas, an investor for it.

More generally, Waterford continues to be a strong performer in attracting FDI. There are 38 IDA client companies in the County employing approximately 7,100 people. In terms of recent investments, Emerald Contact Centre announced in September that they will create 200 new jobs over the next three years. In July, Agora Companies announced 135 additional jobs at their Waterford offices. Last May, Allstate Sales Group announced that it will establish software development and support centres in Sligo and Waterford, creating 100 new jobs in each location.

While progress has been made in helping to generating new investment in Waterford, the Government remains determined to attract more FDI to the County. 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.

The table below sets out the number of IDA site visits to County Waterford from 2015 to Q3 2019.

County

2015

2016

2017

2018

Q1-Q3 2019

Waterford

31

17

11

21

16