Written answers

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

IDA Ireland Jobs Data

Photo of Marcella Corcoran KennedyMarcella Corcoran Kennedy (Offaly, Fine Gael)
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50. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps being taken by the IDA to support job creation in the regions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16723/18]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Government is strongly committed to regional development and my Department and its agencies - including IDA Ireland - are working towards ambitious targets to ensure that employment and investment are as evenly distributed as possible across the country.

IDA Ireland’s primary regional development goal, as set out in its current strategy, is to increase investment by 30% to 40% in every region of Ireland. Real progress has been made towards that target over the first three years of this strategy, with half of all jobs created by IDA client companies since 2015 based outside Dublin.

An important factor in attracting potential overseas investors to the regions is the availability of suitable commercial property across Ireland. That is because firms need to identify - before investing in an area - a site or facility in which they can operate from. A shortage of such sites and facilities in the regions has, however, arisen on account of a number of factors. The IDA therefore launched its Regional Property Programme (RPP) in 2015 to ensure there is a better supply of commercial properties outside of Dublin that could accommodate investment. As well as upgrading existing buildings and acquiring strategic sites suitable for FDI, this programme also includes the construction of nine new advance facilities around the country. Two such facilities were constructed and completed in Athlone and Waterford in 2014 and early 2015. Further buildings were completed last year in Sligo, Tralee and Castlebar, with more planned for Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford. I am confident that the RPP, which has already helped generate employment in the regions, will help secure further investment in the years ahead.

More generally, the IDA always does its utmost to encourage its clients to invest in regional area. This includes through bringing firms on site visits outside of our main cities and highlighting to them the particular strengths or attributes of different parts of the country. The decision on where to locate, however, always rests with the business concerned. It is sometimes the case as well that these companies will only consider - because of a range of reasons - urban areas of scale for their investment.

I want to nevertheless emphasise that the IDA will continue to do its utmost to encourage clients to locate in areas that are most in need of investment. I am determined that this approach will continue so that the positive benefits of FDI are increasingly felt all across Ireland.


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