Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 30 November, 2006

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

[1753] Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of staff employed by Enterprise Ireland; their present location; the number designated for decentralisation; the timetable for decentralisation; and the status of the operation. [40907/06]

  Mr. Martin: Enterprise Ireland currently employs a total of 921 staff. The 666 Dublin based staff are currently located in four separate offices; 402 in Glasnevin, 158 in Strand Road, Sandymount, 52 in Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge and 54 in Wilton Place, Dublin. A further 125 staff members are located in Enterprise Ireland’s overseas offices, and 130 are located in Irish regional offices. The Board of Enterprise Ireland has decided to locate all Dublin based staff in a single site in East Point Business Park. It is planned that all Dublin based staff will have moved to East Point by the end of 2007.

The Government has decided that the Headquarters of Enterprise Ireland, including 300 posts, will relocate to Shannon as part of the Decentralisation programme. Enterprise Ireland, working closely with the Office of Public Works (OPW), has identified, but not yet acquired, a preferred site for the construction of a new HQ building in Shannon. The preferred site is a 13-acre site owned by Shannon Development. In co-operation with Shannon Development and the OPW, the site was valued and a feasibility study carried out. The site occupies a prime position in Shannon and is considered suitable for a major landmark building or civic structure.

It is not possible, at this stage, to say with certainty when the full move of Enterprise Ireland’s HQ will take place. Influencing factors regarding the timing of the move to Shannon include the level of interest in the Shannon location expressed by CAF applicants, and suitable transfer arrangements being established.

In the interim, Enterprise Ireland is to relocate its Regional Development Headquarter activities to Shannon. These activities will include the existing Shannon Development activities relating to indigenous enterprises and support functions and the new Enterprise Ireland County Enterprise Board Co-ordination Unit.

The functions hitherto carried out by Shannon Development under delegated authority from Enterprise Ireland will revert to Enterprise Ireland on 1st January 2007. The transfer of functions will also involve the transfer of a number of staff from Shannon Development to Enterprise Ireland. The necessary arrangements to give effect to these changes are in train, including identification of the relevant posts and discussions with staff and their representatives.

Enterprise Ireland will establish interim office accommodation in the region, to accommodate Regional Development HQ and CEB Unit staff, [1754] as well as staff transferring from Shannon Development. Enterprise Ireland expect that the agency will have approximately 60 staff located in Shannon by mid 2007.

Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of staff who will be transferred from the Shannon Development to Enterprise Ireland; the implications for the decentralisation of Enterprise Ireland of the transfer; and the projected cost of the transfer. [40908/06]

  Mr. Martin: The reversion of responsibility for indigenous enterprise from Shannon Development to Enterprise Ireland will involve the transfer of some 40 staff to Enterprise Ireland.

The decentralisation of Enterprise Ireland’s Headquarters to Shannon as part of the Government’s decentralisation programme will not be affected by the transfer of functions from Shannon Development to Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland intends to establish interim office accommodation in Shannon to accommodate the Shannon Development staff who will transfer to Enterprise Ireland, as well as Regional Headquarter staff and the new Enterprise Ireland County Enterprise Board Co-ordination Unit, by mid 2007.

The cost of the transfer of staff from Shannon Development will be met from Shannon Development’s resources, which will transfer with the persons concerned. Thus there will be no additional Exchequer costs associated with the transfer of staff.