Has IDA forgotten Ballinasloe asks Naughten

In Business & Jobs, East Galway by Denis Naughten

Ballinasloe Horse holdLocal TD, Denis Naughten has questioned whether the IDA has forgotten Ballinasloe in light of the fact that the Jobs Minister, Richard Bruton, was unwilling to give a breakdown as to the number of IDA site visits to the town in the last five years.

In reply to Dail questions from Denis Naughten, Minister Bruton in the Dáil said he could not provide the figures for IDA client visits to the town of Ballinasloe because of “client confidentiality and commercial sensitivity” yet he was quite willing to provide the number of IDA site visits to both Roscommon Town and Boyle in County Roscommon.

“So why the big secret with regard to Ballinasloe, unless there is nothing to tell?” asked Denis Naughten. “It seems that Ballinasloe is the only town within the catchment of Athlone that is not benefiting from the fact that Athlone is now a major regional hub for the pharmaceutical and medical device sector.

“It also seems the fact that Ballinasloe is just 19 miles from Athlone IT is not being used to try to attract new industry to the town.

“Over the last 15 years we have seen the loss of over 700 direct jobs at AT Cross, Square D & Dubarry, along with major job losses in the health sector yet all the focus seems to be centralised around Galway City.

“Now that the economy is beginning to take off is it not time that Ballinasloe sees some benefit? All of the development agencies need to put Ballinasloe on its agenda and explore new job opportunities for the town,” concluded Denis Naughten.

ENDS.

EDITOR’S NOTE: See Dáil replies

DAIL QUESTION NO. 76

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps which are presently being taken to bring new employment to the town of Ballinasloe, County Galway; the number of Industrial Development Agency/Enterprise Ireland site visits to the town in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 
– Denis Naughten.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th September, 2014.

Ref No: 36017/14
R E P L Y

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr Bruton)


I am informed by IDA Ireland that in the five year period 2009 to 2013 inclusive, there have been a total of 131 IDA sponsored site visits by potential investors to County Galway. These site visits were from new companies visiting the location for the first time and from senior executives of existing companies. For reasons of client confidentiality and commercial sensitivity, details of such visits are provided on a county by county basis only. As Enterprise Ireland’s core focus is supporting the internationalisation of indigenous companies, the Agency does not arrange site visits of a type similar to IDA Ireland.


Details of the number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to County Galway in respect of each of the years in question are set out in the attached tabular statement.

County Galway has had particular success in recent years in terms of attracting inward investment particularly in the areas of Medical Technologies and ICT. At the end of 2013 there were 60 IDA Ireland client companies in Galway City and County employing over 13,600 people in full and part time employment. Similarly, at the end of 2013 there were 273 Enterprise Ireland client companies in Co. Galway employing almost 7,000 people in full and part time employment.

IDA Ireland is actively marketing the former AT Cross building in Ballinasloe to potential investors and details of it have been forwarded a number of times to potential investors as a potential property solution and we will continue to do so along with marketing the available lands in the IDA Business and Technology Park in Ballinasloe.

Enterprise Ireland continues to promote employment throughout the county, including Ballinasloe by providing a wide range of supports to existing exporters to help them win new business from outside Ireland. The Agency also encourages the creation of new high potential start-up companies and promotes exporting as a new revenue stream for companies that have not exported previously. In addition, they support local communities to nurture enterprise locally through supporting the development of Community Enterprise Centres.

As the Deputy will be aware, on 15 April last the new Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) were established as the primary source of support for small and micro enterprises across the country. The new service means that national enterprise policy and local business supports have been brought together to strengthen the local business culture and environment, combining the best of the former County and City Enterprise Boards and the Local Authorities, overseen by the Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland.

The LEOs are the first-stop-shop front-line service assisting in delivering business growth and jobs. They provide both financial and soft supports, and pull together all the players – other Government Departments and Agencies – to support everyone with a good business idea, strengthen the enterprise sector in the local area and, ultimately, support the delivery of more jobs within their local area.

The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands region, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department – Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation. The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.

On 30 July 2014 I launched my Department’s Policy Statement on foreign Direct Investment in Ireland which sets out the strategic direction for foreign direct investment to 2020 and the key actions needed to enhance Ireland’s attractiveness and business environment in the context of intensified international competition for investment and talent.

IDA Ireland are currently developing a new corporate strategy for the period 2015 – 2020 which reflects this policy statement and the need to address regional issues.

Table showing the number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to County Galway from 2009 to 2013.

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number of IDA Ireland sponsored site visits 22 41 35 18 15

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 77 & 78

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 299 of 15 April 2014 the number of site visits that have taken place this year; and the progress, in securing an employer for the facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 
– Denis Naughten.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th September, 2014.

Ref No: 36018/14
To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 300 of 15 April 2014 the number of site visits that have taken place this year; the progress, in securing an employer for the facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 
– Denis Naughten.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th September, 2014.Ref No: 36019/14R E P L Y

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr Bruton)

I propose to take questions No 77 and No 78 together.

I am informed by IDA Ireland that, while there has been no further IDA Ireland sponsored further site visits to Roscommon to date in 2014, there is a pipeline with regard to Roscommon town, on which I am unable comment further at this time.

In regard to the Green Isle facility in Boyle, I am informed that there has been no change to the position as I outlined in reply to the Deputy’s question earlier this year.

In Roscommon, client companies of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland employ a total of 2,460 people in full and part-time employment.

The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands and South East regions, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department – Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation. The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.

Additionally, I launched my Department’s Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland on 30 July last. This statement sets out the strategic direction for foreign direct investment to 2020 and the key actions needed to enhance Ireland’s attractiveness and business environment in the context of intensified international competition for investment and talent.

IDA Ireland are currently developing a new corporate strategy for the period 2015 – 2020 which reflects this policy statement and the need to address regional issues.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

IDA Site Visits

Denis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)

299. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the progress to date on sourcing a new tenant for a premises (details supplied); the number of site visits arranged to the premises in 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18030/14]

Denis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)

300. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the site visits arranged to view a vacant premises (details supplied) in each of the past two years to date in 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18031/14]

Richard Bruton (Minister, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 299 and 300 together.

I am informed by IDA Ireland that of the 4 IDA Ireland sponsored site visits by potential investors to Roscommon during 2013, 3 included a visit to the IDA facility in Roscommon Town. To date no tenant has been found for the building. There were no IDA Ireland sponsored site visits to County Roscommon during 2012 or to date in 2014.

There were no IDA Ireland sponsored site visits to the facility in Boyle. I have been informed by Enterprise Ireland that the facility in Boyle, which is in the ownership of Green Isle, is currently on the market. Enterprise Ireland understands that Green Isle has no plans for the facility other than disposal but have assured me that the agency’s Food Business Unit will promote the factory should it become aware of any potential new food projects.

The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands region, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department – Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the County and City Enterprise Boards (soon to become Local Enterprise Offices). The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation in both indigenous and foreign owned companies. The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.

This exercise will complement the in-depth analysis of our FDI strategy which is currently being undertaken by Forfás and which will take account of factors such as key trends emerging in FDI best practice internationally, Ireland’s strengths in attracting FDI and any changes to the EU’s State Aid Rules, which will come into effect on 1 July 2014. The results of these two exercises will form the basis of IDA Ireland’s strategy from 2015 onwards.