KCC to seek IDA an­swers on €5m site


The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By SI­MON BROUDER

KERRY County Coun­cil is to ask the head of the IDA to ap­pear be­fore the coun­cil to ex­plain why a multi mil­lion Euro turnkey premises the agency built at Kerry Tech­nol­ogy Park re­mains va­cant more than a year and half af­ter it was com­pleted.

The €5 mil­lion Ad­vance Man­u­fac­tur­ing Fa­cil­ity at the Tech­nol­ogy Park in Tralee was com­pleted in March 2017 but, as yet, the agency has been un­able to find a ten­ant for the build­ing.

Gov­ern­ment fig­ures show that, with the Tralee fa­cil­ity ly­ing va­cant, the IDA hosted just nine vis­its to Kerry last year and five in the first six months of 2018.

Mean­while, in the same pe­riod in West­meath – where the IDA is mar­ket­ing a premises that is al­most iden­ti­cal to the ten­ant-ready fa­cil­ity at Kerry Tech­nol­ogy Park – the agency hosted 54 vis­its.

In Novem­ber 2016 the IDA’s CEO Martin Shana­han – who is from Abbey­dor­ney – said he was con­fi­dent that the Tralee fa­cil­ity would be oc­cu­pied “soon” adding that such premises are typ­i­cally oc­cu­pied within 12 months of their com­ple­tion.

At the Tralee Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict coun­cil’s monthly meet­ing on Mon­day Cllr Jim Fin­u­cane (FG) and Mayor of Tralee Cllr Gra­ham Spring (Lab) ex­pressed their frus­tra­tion at the ap­par­ent lack of progress in find­ing a ten­ant for the multi mil­lion Tralee fa­cil­ity.

Both Cllr Fin­u­cane and Cllr Spring have called for Mr Shana­han and the IDA’s South West Re­gional Man­ager Ray O’Con­nor to come be­fore the coun­cil and ex­plain what is be­ing done to mar­ket the fa­cil­ity and who it has been mar­keted to.

“It is hugely dis­ap­point­ing that the ad­vance unit is still va­cant,” said Cllr Fin­u­cane.

Cllr Fin­u­cane said it is no use hav­ing the IDA pre­sent two days a week in Tralee (agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives are on site at En­ter­prise Ire­land’s Tralee Of­fice twice a week) if they “aren’t do­ing some­thing,”.

Mayor Spring sec­onded Cllr Fin­u­cane’s pro­posal to call the IDA be­fore the coun­cil to give an up­date on the fa­cil­ity.

“I fully agree with Cllr Fin­u­cane re­gard­ing the ad­vance fa­cil­ity and I’d like to know who they (the IDA) have met with,” he said.

Man­age­ment agreed to in­vite Mr Shana­han and Mr O’Con­nor to ap­pear be­fore the coun­cil.

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