A €100 million investment by major UK and European holiday company Center Parcs could see the creation of hundreds of jobs in the Midlands.
Center Parcs is looking to create up to 600 jobs during construction with a further 500 permanent jobs being put in place once the complex opens in Newcastle Woods, Ballymahon. With more than 200 lodges and villas as well as restaurants, swimming pools, and spas being built on the 375 acre site which has been purchased by Center Parcs.
Center Parcs is preparing to submit planning permission and is currently in negotiations with Coillte, the State forestry and landowning company, and Longford County Council. It is believed that the council has beaten off competition from a number of other locations around the country to secure the investment and it is understood that negotiations on the plan have been taking place for over a year.
Center Parcs has five villages across the UK providing short-break holidays for families with more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities set in forests.
An official announcement on the proposed development will be made today my Taoiseach Enda Kenny when he visits Ballymahon.
Local councillor, Aengus O’Rourke welcomed the investment for the Midlands region. “This is wonderful news for the people of the Midlands as a whole.”
“Athlone and South Westmeath is set to benefit from this investment. We have a great tourism product here in South Westmeath: our natural beauty, road infrastructure, our accommodation base, visitor attractions etc, it is all finally coming together. We currently have great momentum as an emerging and serious tourism player nationally, our visitor numbers are growing year on year. So, to have another high-end tourism and hospitality product just 13 miles from Athlone is a great boost for the whole area.” he said.