IDA to purchase unused Kerry Technology Park lands

The IDA's Advance Manufacturing Facility at Kerry Technology Park in Tralee

Simon BrouderKerryman

THE IDA has reached an agreement to buy all remaining unused land at Kerry Technology Park (KTP).

The agency – which already owns the Advance Manufacturing Facility (AMF) building in the park and has plans to build a second similar turnkey plant – has announced that it has signed a ‘Heads of Terms’ agreement with the park’s owners Shannon Commercial Enterprises to acquire of the remaining lands at KTP.

Shannon Commercial Enterprises has owned an managed the park since the dissolution of Shannon Development in 2014.

“This significant investment by IDA Ireland in the South West Region aims to future-proof the property offering in attracting foreign direct investment to the region and to Kerry in particular,” said an IDA spokesperson.

The IDA said it is hopes to identify a site within the KTP land bank to accommodate the construction of an “advance building solution” – the previously announced second AMF building – which it first proposed as part of its “Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021 to 2024” plan.

IDA CEO Ireland, Martin Shanahan made the announcement of the acquisition deal at the agency’s mid-year results press conference last week.

“Now, more than ever, the timely provision of appropriate, innovative and cost-effective property and infrastructure solutions to meet the needs of multinational corporations is key to winning foreign direct investment,” said Mr Shanahan.

“IDA Ireland plans to acquire this landbank in Tralee to enable us to continue to target capital-intensive projects of significant scale in regional locations,” said Mr Shanahan. Just last week Tralee Fine Gael Councillor Jim Finucane slammed the IDA over its failure to bring jobs to Tralee and said it was time for the town to go it alone in the search for foreign investors.

Cllr Finucane made the comments at the July monthly meeting of the Tralee Municipal District council as he sought an update on the IDA’s plans to build a second turnkey AMF building in Tralee.

“The IDA haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory with the first one,” said Cllr Finucane, apparently referring to the fact that it is still awaiting the arrival of its tenant pharmaceutical packaging firm Central Pharma, who announced plans to set up in Tralee in December 2018.

While Central Pharma’s long awaited plant is yet to get up an running the IDA did recently record a significant success in Tralee with the news that Irish healthcare communications and outsourcing company Relatecare is to create 280 jobs in a new hub at Kerry Technology Park.

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