Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed a commitment by An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, that he is to ask the IDA to consider acquiring land from the HSE for industrial investment in the town of Ballinasloe.
The Tánaiste was responding to a request in Dáil Éireann from Denis Naughten for the IDA to acquire the 50 acres of land in the town that Minister Varadkar had described as “underutilised” following his meeting with development agencies in the West last Friday.
The meeting by the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar with the West Regional Enterprise Plan steering committee follows a number of direct requests to do so by Denis Naughten TD following the Aptar announcement, and was held in advance of the matter coming up for discussion again in Dáil Éireann today.
“While this engagement by the Tánaiste is very welcome, it should have happened five months ago when the Aptar announcement was first made and I should not have had to take this matter to the floor of Dáil Éireann last month before the meeting finally took place,” said Denis Naughten.
“I now hope that something positive can come from what is a huge blow to the town and Aptar employees. I asked the Tánaiste not only to ensure that the IDA secures and develops the 50 acres of land in question, but that it also constructs an advance factory to capitalise on the demand for such lands and facilities across the midland towns.”
Responding to Denis Naughten, Minister Varadkar pointed out that the IDA is actively marketing the Aptar plant and the planning that is in place for a further 15,000 sq.ft. plant on the IDA lands in the town.
“I also asked the Tánaiste to ensure that we now have a co-ordinated marketing strategy for a unique IDA site with such a large State-owned land holding that has access to gas, water, wastewater and fibre in abundance,” concluded Denis Naughten.