Midlands being left behind by the IDA
Labour TD for Longford Westmeath, Willie Penrose, has called on the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the IDA, to redouble efforts to secure jobs for the Midlands.
It comes as last year’s IDA results showed just 2% of FDI jobs are in the region, which also had the smallest increase in IDA supported jobs in 2017.
Deputy Penrose said:
“The end of year results for the IDA in 2017 shows that the Midlands region is being left behind by Government. This is not acceptable and must be tackled.
“The IDA supports over 210,000 jobs in Ireland but just 4,327 of those are in the Midlands. That is equal to 2% of total jobs, and every year it is getting worse.
“The growth rate in jobs for the Midlands was the lowest in the country at just 1%, compared to 9% in the South East and 6% in Dublin.
“It is now time for urgent corrective action from the Minister for Business and the IDA. These terrible figures were summed in response to a recent Dáil question I tabled. The Minister and the IDA couldn’t provide details on the specific locations of visits by its clients to the Midlands in 2017, and in particular the visits that had been organised or sought by their clients in respect of Mullingar, Athlone and Longford.
“One immediate action that could be taken is to find clients for the 22.5 hectare IDA Business and Technology park at Marlinstown in Mullingar. This is a fully zoned and serviced site located at the junction of major primary and secondary roads, right in the centre of the country, with a turnaround time of around one hour to our principle airport and major ports.
“We have the educated skills base and a willing workforce, which is a very important asset, and a positive business environment.
“Mullingar, Athlone and Longford should be a priority for the IDA, and it is now time for the Government to accelerate its promotion to ensure 2018 is a turning point for the Midlands.”