Senator for Roscommon-Galway Aisling Dolan met with the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today for an update on the potential for investment in the Ballinasloe area. This followed the Tánaiste’s meeting with the West Regional Enterprise Plan’s (REPs) steering group this morning to highlight the need for investment in the Ballinasloe area covering East Galway and South Roscommon.
The REPs steering group is chaired by private sector business people and comprising representatives of the Local Authorities, LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Regional Skills Fora, Higher and Further Education Institutes, enterprise champions and others.
Senator Dolan said: “A strong focus of the Tánaiste’s meeting with the West Regional Group was on the urgent need for investment in the Ballinasloe region with the recent loss of jobs with Aptar and Bord na Móna. It is the end of an era with the closure today of the Shannonbridge Power Station.”
“Ballinasloe is a place with great quality of life, clubs & schools with easy access to the motorway and less than an hour and 20 minutes to Dublin airport. With the new Technological University less than 15 minutes away in Athlone – we have a lot to offer potential employers,” Senator Dolan continued.
The Senator outlined to the Tánaiste that the Ballinasloe area has a strong case for investment, in particular with the Aptar premises which measures over 65,000 square metres and with potential for expansion within the IDA Business Park. The meeting comes after the Tánaiste visited Ballinasloe with Senator Aisling Dolan earlier this year.
Senator Dolan has been using her voice in the Seanad to highlight the need for investment in the East Galway and Roscommon region and recently welcomed news that the wider Ballinasloe and surrounding areas is one of five national priority areas for roll-out under the National Broadband Plan to over 3,000 premises by June 2021. In addition, Senator Dolan was delighted with the recent announcement of close to half a million euro investment in the Just Transition programme for the Pulse Remote Working Hubs which will locate people in the town centre and be a hub of job creation.
Senator Dolan said: “The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar spoke about positive news of jobs in Diligent in Galway and Harmac Medical in Castlerea. With Surmodics in Ballinasloe, we also have a base to build on for further investment in medtech and healthcare. He also spoke about the bad news of job losses in Aptar in Ballinasloe and Bord na Móna with the closure of the Shannonbridge Power Plant today. I asked the Tánaiste about plans for investment in our area of East Galway and South Roscommon. He noted that IDA Ireland are focused on this area and also highlighted 50 acres of unused land in the IDA industrial park along with the 65,000 square metres in terms of a high quality premises. We have a lot to offer employers and companies in this area with a skilled workforce and a great quality of life. My commitment is to drive investment into our region and I look forward work closely with the Tánaiste to achieve much-needed investment and jobs in the Ballinasloe area.