There is no enterprise priority more important to me than strengthening regional development, including through the growth of foreign direct investment (FDI). My Department and I are doing everything we can to increase and deepen FDI across the country. The energy and resources we have invested into that objective is, as the evidence illustrates, producing results.
In 2018, for example, the IDA delivered 113 regional investments with 56% of net new jobs created outside Dublin. The last four years have seen 44,500 new FDI-driven jobs created outside the capital. We will do our utmost to encourage further such job growth across all parts of Ireland in 2020 and beyond.
The site that the Deputy is referring to is the IDA Ireland Business and Technology (B&T) Park which is located in Ardmore, Mullingar. The park comprises 27 hectares with 22.5 hectares available for investment. The site is fully zoned and serviced and there is currently one IDA client located there, namely Patterson Pumps. The IDA continues to actively market this B&T Park through its network of offices in Ireland and overseas.
The IDA currently does not have plans to construct any new facilities at this B&T Park in Mullingar. However, the Agency keeps its property programme under continual review and will continue to do so into 2020.
More broadly, the FDI trend in Westmeath is positive. There are currently 21 IDA client companies located in the County, employing 3,466 people. Three of these companies are located in Mullingar, employing approximately 150 people. The wider County has seen an almost 17% increase in FDI employment from 2017 to 2018 and the IDA actively engages with its client base to support them in growing their business and footprint further.