Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
194. Mr. English asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures that have been taken to generate new employment in Navan, following the meeting with her Department, a delegation from Navan Town Council, the enterprise development officer with Meath County Council and the county manager; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5699/04]
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): IDA Ireland’s remit is to secure high value added projects requiring skills and innovation that will deliver high wage jobs to the local economy. In recent times, competition from emerging economies to attract industry here has increased. Availability of premises is one of the important attractions for foreign direct investment in Ireland. Some 70 acres of serviced industrial lands are available at the IDA Navan Business Park where four client companies are located. IDA Ireland has accelerated the level of itinerary visits to Navan and is hopeful that this will result in additional projects for the park.
IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland are working with Meath County Council’s new investment marketing manager in promoting the business park’s facilities, nationally and internationally, and securing the provision of required infrastructure in the county, particularly telecoms and electricity. There are proposals for three advance office buildings and one advance technology building in the business park at the planning permission stage. Planning permission has been received for the conversion of a former house estate, Athlumney House, Navan, incorporating 29,000 sq. ft. of office space; this redevelopment programme is well advanced.
Expansion projects in Navan that are under way include Generali and Europ Assistance, which will provide additional employment of 57 and 50 jobs respectively. A pilot FÁS traineeship scheme has been established in Navan to service insurance administration. In 2004, FÁS has planned for Navan training programmes such as telesales training, return to work programme, computerised accounts/payroll course, beautician and care assistant traineeships.
The Meath County Enterprise Board is facilitating micro-enterprises to create jobs and is providing training courses, business advice and mentoring for enterprises in Navan and elsewhere. The board and Enterprise Ireland have supported the development of the Navan enterprise centre, which consists of over 75,000 square feet of enterprise and office space and employs 150 people. The decentralisation programme announced in the budget includes 100 jobs for relocation to Navan and this should provide a further boost to development in the area.
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