JUST two per cent of jobs in foreign-owned companies in the midlands are located in Laois according to figures supplied by the IDA.
Official figures published last week show that there are 100 jobs in just two IDA backed companies in Laois. In a statement defending its strategy in Laois an dthe midlands the authority said there are 44 IDA backed companies in the midlands employing over 4,600 people. This works out at just over 2 per cent of jobs..
In their statement the IDA said its policy is to market Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar (ATM) as locations to overseas jobs in line with Government policy.
It said Ireland has only one Metro Region, the Greater Dublin area but to achieve balanced regional development it prioritises Gateway locations in other regions while promoting other key locations.
“IDA’s Midlands Region consists of the Counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath and Roscommon. In line with the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) and IDA’s Strategy (Horizon 2020), IDA in the Midlands Region prioritises the marketing of the linked Gateway of Athlone, Tullamore, and Mullingar through our network of overseas offices.
“In addition, IDA promotes Portlaoise, Longford and Roscommon as part of its wider marketing efforts and in response to specific client requirements on an opportunistic basis. It is imperative that locations meet the requirements of each individual client company as the ultimate decision on where an operation will be established resides with the client company,” said the authority.
Laois had the lowest grant support from the IDA in Ireland but the authorit said taht the grants by County are paid to IDA client companies in support of their investment activities which can include employment growth, capital investment, training and research and development.
The authority said it has invested significantly in the development of ‘property solutions’ in the Midlands and it will continue to promote its available land and buildings in the ATM Gateway.
“In all other locations, in order to enhance IDA’s marketing activities in respect of available lands and/or buildings, IDA will consider all means and investment opportunities, including those outside of the normal remit of IDA and its sister agency Enterprise Ireland, which could create employment opportunities in these locations.
“However, with the intense global competition for FDI and the high level complex requirements of potential investors it is imperative in order to attract FDI to the Midlands Region that IDA Ireland continues with its regional strategy of promoting the Gateway location as the area of critical mass, complemented by highlighting the opportunities provided by other key locations such as Portlaoise, Roscommon and Longford in response to specific client requirements on an opportunistic basis,”.