Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
IDA Ireland Portfolio
I thank the Minister of State for his response. He outlined the advantage of having the advance facility in any town, but especially Carlow town. In Carlow we are proud of the MSD facility coming to town. It is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The co-operation between IDA Ireland and the local authority ten years ago resulted in MSD coming to town. When the company completes its latest extension, it will employ up to 800 people, which is important.
It is important to move on. Time always moves on. More wants more, obviously, as we all know. The fact is there is an expectation now that the advance facility will be coming on board. It was promised some years ago. We have waited so long. It is important now that progress is made. I am pleased to hear that the planning application will be ready to roll at this stage.
I wish to impress on the Minister of State the importance of having the planning application lodged before the end of the month. It is essential that it would be lodged before the end of the month. Obviously, there is a planning process to go through after that, which will take several months. That will bring us into 2020, which could be an interesting year in many ways, as we all know. It will be for everyone bar yourself, a Cheann Comhairle. It is important that we would make progress in that regard.
I would also like to know from the Minister of State whether progress is being made in attracting a tenant to this facility. The site is one thing. It is 12.6 ha, which is substantial. The building then will come on board in due course. I hope by this time next year we will have the building in place or we will be a long way towards completing it. Obviously, a building is no good without a tenant, which will obviously employ people for the future. That is what the people in Carlow and surrounding areas want to know. What work is being done at this stage by IDA Ireland to attract a tenant to fill the facility? What type of facility will we have? Will it be an engineering facility? Carlow has a long track record from an engineering point of view. We had the sugar company there previously. We have the Burnside Eurocyl facility in Carlow and surrounding areas. It employs 1,000 people in three different facilities. People want to know what potential there is for employment in the general area for the future.
I am keen to hear about the timelines first of all.
I am delighted to hear that the planning application is ready to be submitted. I would also like to know what type of facility it will be and what the timeline will be for completion.