It also stated that 80 new jobs have been approved recently for the Business Park and will be coming on-stream in the near future.
The agency is to invest a total of €4.7 million over the next 3 years on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park to support further enterprise development, employment creation, and carry out a capital redevelopment programme on a number of its properties.
An action plan, presented in the Enterprise Development on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park report, launched today, sets out a programme that aims to attract employment creation opportunities to the Business Park.
The Report was produced by the Fóram Forbartha Fiontraíochta, an interagency working group, set up by Údarás na Gaeltachta as an immediate response to the announcement by Largo Foods in March 2014 that it was to cease manufacturing in Gaoth Dobhair and transfer all its operations to its manufacturing facility in Ashbourne, Co Meath, resulting in the loss of 146 jobs.
The purpose of the Fóram was to propose solutions and make recommendations that would lead to new enterprise development and job creation opportunities on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park.
Údarás na Gaeltachta’s CEO, Steve Ó Cúláin, said that the report highlighted a number of challenges for enterprise development in the area and added that Údarás was confident that the level of employment on the Business Park would grow over the next few years.
Steve Ó Cúláin said, “We welcome the Fóram’s report and the analysis, findings and recommendations contained within. An tÚdarás will prioritise its resources and put in place a programme aimed at attracting new enterprises to locate on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park. We are also pleased to announce that, during the term of the Fóram’s work, five new projects have been approved for the Business Park. These enterprise projects will lead to the creation of 80 new jobs, some of which are already in place and the remainder are planned to come on stream over the next 2 years. We are encouraged that three new start-up businesses are locating on the Business Park, and that further development is planned by two companies already located there, Euroflex Teo and Fáisc Miotail.”
Séamas Mac Eochaidh, Chairperson of the Fóram and Enterprise and Employment Manager with Údarás na Gaeltachta, thanked all the members of the Fóram for their input. He said that the report, “highlights a number of sectors that should be targeted as most appropriate for sustainable job creation enterprises in Gaoth Dobhair, when all factors such as fit-for-purpose and sector-targeted enterprise facilities, location, infrastructure, labour supply is taken into consideration.”
He said that one of the main sectors that Údarás na Gaeltachta was presently targeting was the food-sector, due to the availability of a high-grade food production facility on the Business Park and the level of skilled people with experience in this sector living locally. He gave the example of two of the new start-up enterprises, Bia Beo Natasha Teo and Kombucha Éireannach Teo, both operating in the food sector. These companies will be located in the building previously occupied by Largo Foods as their development plans are implemented. He stressed the importance of the companies currently operating on the Business Park, the employment they provide and the need to continuously support their operations and any further expansion plans they may have.
The report has been welcomed by Minister of State, Deputy Joe McHugh.