Deering raises concerns about low level of IDA visits to Carlow

17th February, 2014

Fine Gael Carlow TD, Pat Deering, has raised concerns about the low level of IDA visits to the county. Deputy Deering added that the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton TD, has reassured him that he has asked his Department to examine the issue.

 “I am concerned at the low level of IDA visits to Carlow in recent years. In the last three years, there have been just 7 IDA sponsored site visits by potential investors to Carlow. Over the last 10 years, just 721 jobs were created by IDA-supported firms in Carlow from a country wide figure of 113,983. Carlow is being overlooked, and local job creation is being affected as a result.

 “We need to do more to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Carlow. Ireland has restored its reputation as a hub for high tech foreign investment, but we need to ensure this investment is stretching to the regions.

 “I fully understand the challenges facing towns like Carlow, particularly when competing with a city like Dublin or cheaper locations in Eastern Europe. But Carlow has a lot to offer prospective investors; a high standard of life, affordable living costs and high quality, skilled local graduates. There are existing sites in the town which would serve as an ideal location for investment; for example the Bruan OralB site has been vacant for a number of years now and offers almost 250,000sqf of business space in the heart of Carlow town.

 “When marketing Carlow for investment, the IDA Ireland is focused on attracting overseas companies in the life sciences, services and knowledge based industries (including advanced manufacturing). There are currently 7 IDA-supported companies in Carlow employing 735 people. Considering 70% of all FDI investments won by IDA Ireland come from its existing client base, the Agency must also focus on trying to grow the existing firms in the town.

 “I have raised these issues with Minister Bruton, and I am encouraged that he said he too is concerned at the lack of investment in certain regional locations. The Minister has asked IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to work with his Department to look at what measures could be implemented to ensure we have a better approach to enterprise development in regional locations.

 “This exercise will complement the in-depth analysis of our national FDI strategy which is currently being undertaken by Forfás and which will take account of a number of factors including Ireland’s strengths in attracting FDI and any changes to the EU’s State Aid Rules, which will come into effect on 1 July 2014.”