Ardfinnan factory site may be filled and further development planned for Ballingarrane

A possible tenant for one of Ardfinnan’s empty factories has been in contact with South Tipperary County Council, it was revealed during a briefing on the extensive economic supports in the county.

A possible tenant for one of Ardfinnan’s empty factories has been in contact with South Tipperary County Council, it was revealed during a briefing on the extensive economic supports in the county.

There was also good news when it was announced that a brief for tender designs has been drawn up and tenders are now being invited for building work at Ballingarrane

Director of Services Sinead Carr gave an overview of the economic infrastructure and supports from the County Council, at the December meeting of the local authority.

Contact from a possible tenant for the Ardfinnan site was one of many positive notes in the presentation.

Ms Carr explained that while the Council does not have a role in job creation they do provide physical infrastructure across the county and try to bring all the different bodies involved in job creation together, to provide the best ‘first port of call’ to any person or company who is interested in investing in South Tipperary.

The council supports tourism services, has set up a business support unit and is involved in economic programme management.

The council is also a supporter of the development of the Ballingarrane site, in Clonmel.

Both public and private business parks are supported by the County Council - there is 100% occupancy in Clonmel Business Park with employment at 135; parks in Drangan and Ballingarry are also supported.

The council provides advice, support and assistance over many areas.

The council has an inter agency enterprise and innovation strategy and continues to support the Tipperary Food Producers Network as well as the PLATO network.

Under the FUSE initiative the council has worked closely with Enterprise Ireland to develop a network of entrepreneurs and manufacturing businesses.

Ms Carr said a lot of work has already been undertaken on the Ballingarrane project. Last Monday a brief for tender designs was put on e-tenders, a process which should take 40 days.

Other economic initiatives in the county this year included promoting usage of the rail line, setting up the County Data Unit and working on the Retail Action Plan and Commercial Incentive Scheme.

In Carrick on Suir the council helped implement the 2010 Economic Strategy, supported the set up of a new Tidy Towns Commitee and supported the Clancy Festival.

In Tipperary Town the council worked on securing funding for the Technology Park and is working to secure anchor tenants, as well as many other initiatives.

Clonmel is working on a Butler Trail for the 2012 tourism market and the council also supported events including the Bianconi weekend and Halloween events.

In Cahir the council continue to implement the Cahir Economic Strategy with key stakeholders.

In Cashel the council supported the European Charter event and the promotion of the Rock of Cashel.

Chairman Michael Fitzgerald said it was good to know so much work was going on in these depressing times. “It’s very heartening to see what’s happening throughout he county,” he said.

Cllr Sean McCarthy asked what was being done to locate another business in the Cordis plant in Cashel, and he called on Minister Richard Bruton to go to the USA to meet the management of Cordis to get them to locate another branch of their business in the Cashel plant.

Ms Carr said contacts are continuing with the IDA in relation to the Cordis plant.

Speaking about the Ballingarrane development, she said the council is happy with targets set for 2014. The project is still “very much feasible” and there are companies interested in moving to the site when it is ready.

LIT see Clonmel as a strong business hub and are reformatting courses to focus on this, Ms Carr said.

Work should start on the site next year, she added.

County Manager Billy McEvoy said he recently met with the IDA and another meeting is scheduled for January.

In response to Cllr Denis Leahy, who called for a special task force for the West Tipperary Area, MS Carr said that after the Pall closure they had brought together a number of key businesses, the County Development Board, the Enterprise Board and in its own way this is a task force for the area. There has been very good engagement with that, she added and this will continue over the next couple of years.