Community gathers to welcome Center Parcs

Local residents, traders, and community representatives joined councillors, TDs, and senators from across counties Westmeath and Longford in Ballymahon Library on Monday, to officially welcome Center Parcs to the region.

The community reception was attended by Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor, to mark the recent planning approval for the development of Center Parcs holiday village at Newcastle Wood, outside Ballymahon.

Planning was approved for the €233m development in July this year, and construction is expected to start in the spring. It is hoped that up to 750 jobs will be created during the construction phase alone, with work expected to be completed by 2019. Up to 1,000 permanent jobs are expected to be created at the 395-acre site.

Site surveys are currently underway and a tree felling licence was received last Friday to fell 40 hectares. Attendees were given the opportunity to inspect the site on Monday morning.

Fine Gael’s Deputy Peter Burke said the development would provide a much-needed boost for the Midlands in terms of jobs and investment.

“The development will have a significant positive impact on the local economy, bringing a huge economic boost to the Midlands. Along with construction jobs and jobs in hospitality when the park opens, it will be a boost to the whole services industry locally, including food produce and all the services aligned with the hotel and catering business. It’s estimated that up to 30 businesses will work with Center Parcs and a community forum will be established to ensure local engagement.

“Longford and Westmeath need this boost and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We must take advantage of this to ensure that the maximum benefits can be felt in relation to investment, employment, and quality of life in the area.”

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