The IDA and Enterprise Ireland have pledged to visit the vacant Rathdowney retail to help businesses that could create jobs in south Laois.
The pledge to visit the centre was given to Cllr John King by the heads of both state agencies in the midlands after he raised its potential with them and Minster Richard Bruton.
Cllr King said the outlet was built for €4 million during the boom but was now vacant and on the market for €300,000. However he believed it had potential for job creation.
He asked the two agencies to visit and help companies that would start up in the outlet as firms interested in setting up there but who need guidance.
Cllr King said 150 people had worked there when it was a retail centre. He said there must be jobs in small towns like Rathdowney but “rural Ireland was dying on its feet”.
“I know there are people interested in purchasing the place and it would be a way of getting a small town back on the map,” he said.