Shannon Group has confirmed the commencement of the €21 million first-phase of a major redevelopment programme at the Shannon Free Zone, which will significantly strengthen the hand of development agencies in attracting major investments and enabling job creation in the region.
The five-year programme by the Shannon Group’s property company, Shannon Commercial Properties Ltd, involves the construction of advance manufacturing units and office blocks as well as the upgrade of some of its existing core assets.
The investment plan is focussed on delivering a stock of high quality, advanced manufacturing, warehousing and office space solutions which will aid state development agencies attract new business and jobs to the Airport and Free Zone.
The €21 million first-phase over the next two years, which will support more than 250 construction related jobs, includes the redevelopment of a 12 acre site in the Shannon Free Zone. As part of the initial phase of development on this site, two projects are planned at a combined cost of in excess €10 million. These include a 40,000 ft2 Grade A office block and a 30,000 ft2 advance technology manufacturing unit. Work on the 12 acre site has already begun with the demolition of three former manufacturing buildings of approximately 300,000 ft2 and planning applications for the two new buildings are due to be submitted shortly.
Other key projects in the first development phase include:
• A 67,000 ft2 technology manufacturing facility at Shannon Free Zone East at a cost of €6M. Work on this project has just commenced.
• A €4 million upgrade and development of an existing 100,000 ft2 warehousing unit in the Zone adjoining airport lands is set to commence later this year
• A €1.3 million refurbishment of a 56,000 ft2 office and warehousing facility located in the Shannon Free Zone West is now complete
In welcoming the announcement, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD said, “This is a strategic investment not just in Shannon but in the wider region. It’s a hugely important piece in the jigsaw for the region and having these advanced, modern facilities so close to an international airport further enhances their attractiveness. It’s a progressive move by the Shannon Group, which has clearly hit the ground running on its establishment last autumn, and bodes very well for the future.”
Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said, “This investment will see our stock of quality facilities in the Shannon Free Zone significantly enhanced. Putting in place quality manufacturing and office space facilities will provide vital collateral for the IDA and Enterprise Ireland as they go about selling this region to FDI and indigenous companies. It sends a clear signal from the Shannon Group to the market and potential investors that we are creating quality space for businesses and this, in turn, will help attract significant investment and jobs into this region.”
Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes said, “This investment is in line with our strategy to redevelop Shannon Free Zone and our wider property portfolio. It will give the Shannon Free Zone a competitive edge in the national and international marketplace. Together with our international airport, an available pool of highly skilled third level graduates, a strong motorway network and high quality of life in the west of Ireland, the Shannon Free Zone is an extremely attractive proposition for investors. This investment will serve as a catalyst to help create a further wave of employment here.”
Ray O’Driscoll, Managing Director, Commercial Properties, Shannon Group said, “The Shannon Free Zone already hosts 120 companies in a diverse range of activities. It has been a huge contributor to the local economy since it was established in 1959 and this first phase of what will be a major, ongoing investment programme will bring these facilities, many of which were constructed prior to 1990, up to 21st century standards. This is an imperative to attracting major investment and jobs to the area.”