IDA Ireland sees Sligo as a Key Centre for Growth
IDA Commends Sligo Local Authorites' 'Partnership Approach'
The need for a critical mass of suitably qualified talent, supporting infrastructure and sophisticated business services can draw investors towards cities and regions of scale. For most of the investment IDA competes for, the competition is from city regions with a population base of over a million people. For this reason, every location in Ireland has to think and act regionally, rather than locally, if it wishes to succeed. The National Spatial Strategy sets out the framework for development in this way and needs to be actively embraced and followed by all economic and social parties.
In the North West, Sligo is a key centre for growth, designated as a Gateway location under the aforementioned National Spatial Strategy. It has an abundance of strengths to attract investment which can be seen in ongoing recruitment at Toucan’s consumer telecoms operation in Sligo and Abbott Ireland’s recently completed expanded Diagnostic Facility at Finisklin and its Pharmaceutical operation on the Manorhamilton road, while nearby in Donegal Town Abbott’s new Diabetes Care is underway. Sligo continues to be a dynamic catalyst for growth in the North West. It has a plentiful skilled labour supply with nearly 230,000 people within a 60km radius, a progressive Institute of Technology producing high calibre graduates plus a FAS training centre with excellent course offerings.
IDA has significantly raised the potential for regions to prosper by implementing a national programme of investment in the vital infrastructure of business park development, including Finisklin Business & Technology Park. New access via Strandhill road has been delivered by Sligo County Council allowing IDA to proceed with the development of 12 acres on the western end of the Park with construction underway of a 2,000 square metre advance office solution. Developments in such infrastructure have created the ecosystem to meet the needs of international companies. Partnership is seen by IDA as key in this area and the Agency will continue to work closely with Sligo Borough and Sligo County Council to achieve the most beneficial outcome for Sligo and the North West Region in the coming years.
Critical to Sligo’s economic prosperity and growth as a ‘Gateway City is the delivery of the proposed Western Distributor Road and Eastern Bridge. This will bring with it improved access to the IDA Business and Technology Park in Finisklin and the IDA lands in the region of 80 acres at Oakfield, ensuring Sligo will be well placed at attract new investment and employment going forward.
The successes of any one year are always the product of sustained effort over an extended period by many players. The managers and workforces of existing multinational companies in Ireland are the best references for future investors, but behind the scenes national and local government, industry bodies and representatives, educational bodies, and infrastructure, utility and service providers all play a key role in creating the conditions for winning business.
In the last few years Sligo Local Authorities have progressed plans for significant housing, infrastructure and amenity projects, and have delivered many urban enhancements, including the pedestrianisation of O’Connell Street. The development of a new cultural corridor on Connaughton Road is another major initiative which will see a new and exciting contemporary arts space in our Gateway City. Other recent landmark achievements include the official opening of the Inner Relief Road and the commencement of the €22m Sligo Main Drainage Plant.
Sligo Local Authorities have always adhered to the partnership approach and the IDA looks forward to the successful continuation of a ‘collaborative agency’ approach in 2007.