If Galway’s inclusion in the IDA’s €150-million property investment programme is to produce any real results, the IDA must immediately start encouraging manufacturing companies to locate here.
This is the view of Fine Gael Galway West TD Brian Walsh, who is calling on the IDA to begin attracting prospective employers in advance of a strategy, to be published by July, which will set out lists of actions, timelines, and responsibilities, and create an ‘action plan for jobs’ for Galway.
The property investment programme is due to come to Galway in 2016 and will support activities in Foreign Direct Investment, and Enterprise Ireland clients. It will be rolled out in its entirety over five years and follows an IDA review which examined both available industrial property stock in the city, and if direct investment was required to attract new business.
According to Dep Walsh, who said the shortage of such stock “has seen the city miss out on industrial manufacturing jobs” due to large companies being unable to find suitable accommodation.
“Galway is an eminently attractive location for prospective employers,” he said. “We have had great success in attracting multinational companies in the ICT and medical technology sectors in recent years, but have failed to see a similar influx of industrial manufacturing jobs here due to a shortage of suitable accommodation, and the fact is that we’re losing out as a result.
Dep Walsh believes that the IDA investment has the potential to attract further multinational interest and create “hundreds of additional jobs”.
Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan has also welcomed the investment, saying new infrastructure and new building programmes “are critical in securing economic investment into Galway”, especially as there is “a lack of facilities at the moment”.
“We need to have real options for these multi-nationals if they are to take the big decision to locate in Galway,” said Dep Nolan. “They have to be able to see their new location, walk around their potential offices and get a feel for the environment in which they will be located.”