KCC to seek IDA answers on €5m site
CLLRS WANT IDA’S CHIEF TO EXPLAIN WHY TRALEE FACILITY IS STILL EMPTY
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.