Fianna Fáil TD, Jackie Cahill has welcomed the €21 million new investment at the former Lisheen Mines plant saying it represents a new way in how jobs investment can take place in rural counties like Tipperary.

Deputy Cahill was commenting after it was announced that Glanbia had secured funding of €21 million from the EU under the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking to bring the total investment at the site to €30 million.

“The project will develop a bio refinery for turning dairy industry by-products into higher value bio-based chemicals. One such process could be the production of lactic acids, minerals for human consumption, and bio-based fertilizers.

“This is an important new development and represents a new way of securing jobs in rural counties

“Since being elected to the Dáil two years, I learned very fast that attracting jobs in the old traditional way just won’t work. The old style manufacturing jobs while welcome are mostly drifting to lower pay economies.

“The town of Thurles has lost 25 factories in the past 30 years – the way we worked to bring jobs to communities has to change

“What is more likely to work in Tipperary is a focus on attracting high tech jobs that are connected to the traditional industries. Like this project where you are taking dairy products and adding value to create high value products that are in demand worldwide.

“We have the infrastructure, the people, and the resources to develop high end, well-paying jobs that can deliver a major boom for the county. This investment is very welcome and is a good sign for the future,” concluded Cahill.