Minister of State at the Department of Business, Pat Breen
The IDA's Advanced Technology Building in Carlow will attract "further multinational investment to town", Minister of State at the Department of Business, Pat Breen, has said.
His comments come after the IDA lodged planning permission for the new ATB in Carlow Town.
The site is on the Dublin Road, Rathnapish and permission is also sought for signage, new timber post-and-rail site boundaries, car parking, cycle shelter, landscaping, underground water storage tank, ESB substation/switch room and all associated site works.
Minister Breen was responding in the Dáil to questions on the facility from Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering.
Deputy Deering said: "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?"
The Minister said: "The normal planning process will apply, obviously, but I hope that permission would be given with all the preliminary discussions with Carlow County Council. I hope that it goes as speedily as possible.
"As the Deputy will be aware from a previous briefing on the matter, IDA Ireland did not originally own land in the county for this important facility.
"As such, it had to acquire a site through the open market. The process associated with this purchase was lengthier than anticipated.
"This led to a later than planned completion date. I imagine the Deputy will understand that as well. I have every confidence that this building, once completed, will be a significant asset to Carlow in terms of attracting further multinational investment to the town and the wider region."
In response, Deputy Deering said: "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."
The Minister added: "I work closely with IDA Ireland. It is one of the most professional agencies we have to attract industry into Ireland against stiff competition.
"It will continue to engage with its clients to identify further opportunities for new investment in Carlow and the South East."