Dáil Éireann - Volume 536 - 15 May, 2001
Written Answers - Job Losses.
Mr. U. Burke Mr. U. Burke
145. Mr. U. Burke asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if there are proposals under the restructuring of IDA Ireland to locate an IDA Ireland administrative centre in Ballinasloe, County Galway in view of the impact of serious job losses in the town and the failure to attract IDA-supported jobs in the town for the past 25 years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13718/01]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): IDA Ireland currently has no plans to locate an administrative centre in Ballinasloe, County Galway, under the restructuring proposals of the agency.
The Government is committed to ensuring the most equitable distribution of job opportunities. Both IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are structured on a regional basis so as to ensure that this is achieved. Over the last 18 months, IDA Ireland has radically changed its policies with the objective of delivering half of all new greenfield jobs into Objective One regions in the coming years. This involves doubling the proportion of greenfield jobs negotiated for these regions. In 2000, IDA Ireland achieved this target.
With regard to Ballinasloe, I established the Ballinasloe Inter-Agency Group in February 2000 in response to the announcement by AT Cross of job losses at the company. In my announcement of establishment of that group, I asked IDA Ireland to treat Ballinasloe as a priority location for overseas investment. I also requested the chairman of the group to liaise with the public and private sectors and the community bodies who can assist in promoting the area for investment and job creation. I am informed that work is now under way for the production of a new industrial brochure for the town under the aegis of the group. Work is also being undertaken on the development of a skills profile and training  requirements for the AT Cross workforce by FÁS and SIPTU.
In addition to this activity, IDA Ireland acquired 35 acres of land at Creagh on the east side of Ballinasloe in 1999 for the development of a new high specification business park. Phase one of the development work and all services on the site have now been completed. IDA Ireland has worked with a local group of developers who have completed a new 27,800 square feet advance unit on the new park. IDA Ireland is aggressively marketing this building and the business park to overseas clients.
IDA Ireland's efforts to secure inward investment for Ballinasloe have resulted in Valois, a French engineering company, establishing a manufacturing operation in the town. The company is commencing operations in a temporary facility while it is working with its property advisers to design and develop a new customised facility. The company will employ 60 people at full production and recruitment is currently under way.
Dáil Éireann 536 Written Answers Job Losses.