A planning application by Athlone Business Park Ltd was lodged last Friday in relation to the proposed development at Creggan, Athlone. Phase one of the project is expected to bring some 1,200 jobs during the construction phase with an investment of €175 million.
The first phase of the Euro China Trade Hub (ECTH ) development will cover some 32 hectares of the larger 137 hectare site and hopes to become a forum for international buyers to primarily enter contracts for the purchase of Chinese manufactured products.
Speaking after the application was made Deptuy Nicky McFadden said, “This could amount to the creation of thousands of jobs and see Athlone playing a central role in developing business ties between Europe, the US, and China. Promoting Ireland as a hub for international trading is an integral part of the Jobs Initiative.”
Athlone town councillor Alan Shaw also welcomed the news explaining that the development could potentially see a new train station for the town as well as continuous development opportunities. “The injection of people and wealth to the local economy is likely to have a direct impact on demand for housing, accommodation and goods and services,” he said.
Fellow councillor Aengus O’Rourke credited the promoters of the hub for pursuing “this hugely ambitious business proposal despite the depressed economic climate”.
The plans for the hub are currently with Westmeath County Council for consideration.