The IDA have applied for planning permission to install a new security gate and perimeter fence at its business park on the outskirts of Mullingar.
According to the application submitted on August 10, the IDA also plans to install security cameras, as well as a 2.4km boundary fence around the entire Marlinstown site.
When contacted by the Westmeath Examiner, the IDA said that the upgrade work will secure the park's boundaries and enhance the park entrance to “further assist with marketing efforts”.
Deputy Robert Troy, who played a role in organising a pre-planning meeting between the council and the IDA, welcomed the proposed improvements to the business park.
“The entrance to the site in Marlinstown is most unattractive. This is about putting in a new entrance to improve the visual perspective to the entrance to the park and make it safer. To be fair, Patterson Pumps, which I played a role in securing their tenancy for the park, have spoken in the past about their concerns about the lack of an adequate lock up.
“This development is welcomed as, one, it will improve the visual look of the entrance and two, enhance the security for the existing tenants that are there. At the minute it doesn't look like the entrance for a business park with a good anchor tenant, it looks like something that is under construction.”
The IDA is regularly criticised by politicians from across the political spectrum for its failure to attract new tenants to its Mullingar business park.
According to recently released figures, the IDA organised 36 site visits in Westmeath for would be investors in 2016, a 300 percent increase on 2014 when there were 12 visits. In the first quarter of this year, there were nine visits to local IDA sites, the same number for the entire year in 2013.
However, despite the marked increase in visits, the wait continues for new foreign direct investment in the Mullingar area.