Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Ceisteanna (76)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

76. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding regional IDA Ireland site visits per county in addition to vacant IDA Ireland properties nationwide; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50139/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

Regional development remains a key priority for myself and my Department. We understand the importance of achieving the best possible spread of employment and investment across the country and my Department and its Agencies have been working hard towards that goal. That will remain the case in 2020 and beyond. 

It is therefore very positive that significant progress has already been made towards that objective. For example, 58% of all IDA client-supported employment is now situated outside Dublin. This figure represents the highest level of regional employment in the history of the Agency and reflects the significant energy and resources invested into supporting regional development. We will be seeking to increase that number again in 2020.

As I have previously made clear, the availability of marketable serviced land and buildings in advance of demand is a key element in the IDA's ability to compete for mobile foreign direct investment. Not only does such a supply of properties help the Agency to secure high quality jobs but it also allows projects to begin at an earlier date by diminishing difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. It therefore remains an important means by which the IDA can encourage and attract new investors to regional Ireland. If such properties were not available to potential investors, it would decrease the likelihood that regional areas would be selected by overseas firms ahead of urban locations.

The IDA currently owns 27 properties across Ireland. Of these, 14 are occupied by Agency clients with the remainder available for prospective or existing clients.

As regards site visits, they do remain an important means by which the IDA can showcase regional locations to prospective investors. At the same time, we must recognise that the final decision as to where to invest always rests with the firm concerned. It is also the case, no matter what efforts we make to underline the undoubted benefits of regional locations, that certain overseas companies will only consider investing in large urban areas for various commercial or operational reasons.

Details on the number of site visits to individual counties, from 2018 until the third quarter of this year, are set out in the following table.

County

2018

Q1-Q3   2019

Carlow

7

7

Cavan

2

6

Clare

13

20

Cork

61

55

Donegal

8

6

Dublin

269

216

Galway

54

35

Kerry

10

4

Kildare

8

8

Kilkenny

5

12

Laois

10

5

Leitrim

6

2

Limerick

35

43

Longford

5

2

Louth

20

32

Mayo

10

3

Meath

6

3

Monaghan

3

4

Offaly

5

4

Roscommon

3

2

Sligo

15

24

Tipperary

5

6

Waterford

21

16

Westmeath

22

16

Wexford

3

4

Wicklow

1

6

Total

607

541