Cllr Denis Leonard is calling on the council to invite the Industrial Development Agency (IDA ) to visit Mullingar and Kinnegad to investigate the potential of the towns.
Speaking at last week’s Mullingar Area meeting, he said Mullingar as a spatial town and Kinnegad as a “zoned industrial hub” enjoyed a “strategic location” for inward investment. He feels the towns are not getting a look-in when it comes to attracting industry.
“Hundreds of new projects have been announced, and there is very little for Westmeath. We are not getting a fair crack of the whip. Can we write and ask the IDA to come and talk to us about the possibilities in our county?” he asked.
However he was advised that the council had issued a letter to the IDA in January in respect of the Mullingar site.
“What is the timeframe for how quickly we can write a second letter? We can add the IDA to the list of people who fail to respond to us on a regular basis, along with the NRA, HSE, and Iarnród Éireann,” responded an agitated Cllr Leonard.
Acting director of services Hugh O’Reilly reminded councillors that the IDA had given a presentation to councillors the previous year.
“The IDA have a policy regarding industrial development, and specifically target hub towns identified in the National Spatial Strategy and Kinnegad would not fall under this,” he added, saying the matter would be raised with Enterprise Ireland.
Cllr Leonard reminded those present that the NRA had recently chosen Kinnegad as the location for a salt depot, adding that the IDA “should adopt similar thinking regarding Kinnegad and Mullingar”.