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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

64% of IDA properties are lying vacant

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 5:00pm

98 of the 152 properties owned by the IDA nationwide are laying idle, it was revealed this week. This includes parts of 18 IDA sites in Cork. Three of these sites comprise of very large areas at Ringaskiddy, Carrigtwohill and Kilbarry Business and Technology Park.

However, there are also seven IDA sites in Cork that are entirely full. They include sites in Mallow, Dunmanway, Ballincollig and Cork city.

The information was recently obtained by Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Billy Kelleher.

The Cork North Central TD said: “The majority of these 98 properties are in places outside of Dublin and tend to be located in the parts of the country that are crying out for any degree of foreign direct investment (FDI) in their community.

“In my own region, Kilbarry Business and Technology Park has remained empty for many years and all the while an adjacent site that encompasses some 56 hectares is idle.

“We keep hearing of how this Government intends on spreading regional jobs but the reality on the ground tells us a different story. This is a substantial number of unused commercial properties that could be the ideal location for an overseas company, big or small, to relocate post-Brexit. That potential must be recognised if we have any hope of it being maximised on.”

The largest empty site in Cork is a strategic site in Carrigaline of 165 hectares. In total, the IDA has over 323 hectares vacant in Cork.

Speaking in the Dáil in response to a question from Deputy Kelleher, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said that the number of unused sites was necessary in order to attract new companies to Ireland.

“The availability of an adequate supply of marketable serviced land and buildings in advance of demand is a key element in the IDA's ability to compete for mobile foreign direct investment. That is because the availability of property solutions to potential investors allows projects to begin at an earlier date by diminishing much of the difficulties associated with land acquisition, planning and construction. It remains, therefore, an important means by which the IDA can encourage and attract new investors to Ireland, particularly to the regions.”

However Mr Kelleher said: “It’s crucial that each of these properties is widely promoted as we face into much uncertainty post Brexit here in Ireland. We need to send a clear message that Britain’s impending exit from the European Union is not a reflection of Ireland’s market or openness to business.

“There is a vital opportunity on the table now to bring industry and FDI to areas in need of a boost and which have empty properties. It’s up to the Government to seize it if they are willing,” he concluded.

Minister Humphreys also said: “The trend for site visits across county Cork remains positive. In 2017, Cork hosted 51 site visits and as of the third quarter of 2018 there have been 48 site visits by IDA client companies.”

According to stats from the IDA, the number of site visits by IDA client companies to county Cork has increased almost every year from 2011.

There was only one year where the visits dipped and that was in 2014, which saw 30 visits, compared to 31 in 2013.

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