IDA CEO Barry O'Leary.
IDA CEO Barry O'Leary.
Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden has said that Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton is to discuss the issue of IDA visits to Mullingar with the agency.
Minister Bruton was responding to a Parliamentary Question Deputy McFadden raised last week.
"Minister Bruton has informed me that as a result of concerns expressed about the lack of site visits to certain regional locations, he will discuss the problem with the IDA in the coming weeks.
"I also asked the minister how many sponsored site visits are proposed for Westmeath this year but it is not possible for IDA Ireland to indicate that at this stage," Deputy McFadden said.
"IDA Ireland sponsored seven site visits by potential investors to Westmeath during 2012. IDA Ireland has explained that, when considering where to locate their businesses in Ireland, potential investors usually undertake extensive research to inform their decisions and that such decisions are taken having considered criteria such as the availability of transport and utilities infrastructure; suitably qualified personnel; professional business support services; and, zoned land and sites together with the potential to locate in existing industry clusters.
"In general, companies indicate to IDA Ireland their location preferences following their own analysis. For this reason it is particularly important that Mullingar and other locations in the midlands promote themselves as suitable and attractive locations for investment," Deputy McFadden said.
She encouraged businesses in Westmeath to apply for available schemes such as the microfinance scheme, the credit guarantee scheme and the development capital scheme, which "have the potential to greatly assist in starting and developing businesses".
IDA assures Deputy Penrose it is working to enhance Mullingar's attractiveness for FDI
The IDA chief executive officer, Barry O'Leary, has informed Deputy Willie Penrose that the IDA is progressing two property options within its portfolio to enhance Mullingar's attractiveness for FDI.
Deputy Penrose has been in contact with the IDA in recent weeks requesting them to make Mullingar a major priority for IDA-backed inward investment, and has received a reply to his communication to the IDA in respect of Mullingar's industrial sites.
Mr O'Leary indicated that the IDA had recently completed a valuation on the 24,000 sq ft office building at Clonmore Business Park in Mullingar, which it will now market at a price that makes it one of the most competitive places available for office space in Ireland.
Likewise in December 2012, the IDA re-valued its landholding for its Ardmore Business Park, reducing the leasehold price to an attractive level of â‚¬92,500 per hectare for serviced industrial land.
Again Mr O'Leary expressed the view that this represents a competitive price and one it expects to be attractive for FDI.
Deputy Penrose said: "It is my earnest hope that these measures, along with an increased focus on Mullingar for the purpose of site visits, will hopefully bear some fruit in the not too distant future."