Fianna Fáil bye-election candidate for Carlow-Kilkenny Bobby Aylward is calling on the IDA to build an “advance unit” in Kilkenny in order to increase the cities potential to attract foreign direct investment. The agency has supported the construction of similar units in Athlone, Letterkenny and Waterford, but the Kilkenny area has been neglected to date.
Mr Aylward commented, “I am concerned that Kilkenny city and the wider area is not seeing a sustained investment drive, and is in danger of being left behind. Infrastructure in Kilkenny needs to be updated and improved in order to attract more overseas business. The creation of an IDA advance unit in Kilkenny will help achieve this.
“The IDA has already built advance units in Athlone, Letterkenny and Waterford, and a similar initiative for Kilkenny is needed. These units are ready to go business structures, which have all the necessary utilities and access to allow companies move in and begin manufacturing almost immediately.
“There is an opportunity to bring about a strong IDA development in Kilkenny. The development of the brewery site in Kilkenny City is a once in a generation opportunity to put in place the necessary infrastructure to secure large scale multinational investment here.
“I believe Kilkenny County Council should work with the IDA to ensure that the land is “investment ready” and would cater to the needs of the multinational sector. An educational campus must also be provided through the reconfigured proposals for a Technological University of the South East. We cannot allow this opportunity pass us by. This site could prove to be the most pivotal development in Kilkenny for decades to come.
“Ministers have failed to recognise that although major city’s like Dublin may be feeling the effects of a recovery that sentiment has not yet reached all parts of the country, and Kilkenny is one of the areas still attempting to get back on an even keel. Without a strategic investment plan, supported by an overarching IDA development roadmap, the town’s full potential is being jeopardised.
“This regional imbalance is the hallmark of the Fine Gael-Labour Government’s jobs blueprint and unless it is addressed, economic development in Kilkenny will continue to underperform and the scope for further job creation will be lost” said Mr Aylward.