Senator Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the news that consultants have been appointed by Mayo County Council for the development of Ballina's Digital Hub in the town's former military barracks.
"I have been informed by Mayo County Council that following the tendering process, the authority has appointed the following consultants - Civil and Structural Engineers, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and Quantity Surveyors. The next step is detailed design of the project and preparation for the appointment of a contractor for the construction.
"This is wonderful news that brings Ballina Digital Hub and Innovation Quarter a step nearer. The hub will see the creation of over 200 jobs in an exciting and pioneering project that marks the start of a new era for the town and its hinterland.
"Since it was announced, I have continued to work closely with Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, and Mayo County Council to keep this project moving. The hub will give Ballina the edge in tapping into the digital transformation that is changing the way we all do business.
"I was delighted to be able to bring the Taoiseach on a site visit to Ballina in September to see the plans and hear more about the project. The Taoiseach was most impressed and confirmed the Government’s commitment to the funding of €3.2m under Project Ireland 2040 for the development of the project.
"Technology, digital media and internet companies will be based in the new enterprise cluster in the town centre location that will provide office spaces for 20 firms, nurturing an atmosphere of creativity and support where the digital companies can grow their business.
"The hub will also be the home for a distillery, which will create jobs in the production of high-end rum.
"As a collaborative space for digital companies to scale and grow, Ballina Innovation Quarter will kickstart significant enterprise and entrepreneurial activity and increase the attractiveness of Ballina and surrounding communities for further investment.
"This project will also restore a centre-piece in Ballina's built heritage, the Military Barracks, built in 1742, and unlock its tourism and cultural potential.
“Ballina Chamber of Commerce and local businesses played a crucial part in bringing this project to fruition and their support and enterprise will ensure Ballina is recognised as a place to start and grow a digital business.
"The Ballina Digital Hub is further evidence of the commitment of the Fine Gael-led government to rejuvenate Ballina and its hinterland of north and east Mayo," added Senator Mulherin."