Advance factory planned for Tuam IDA lands

Cllr Tom McHugh at the entrance to the empty IDA park in Tuam. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

A planning application is being submitted to Galway County Council for the construction of an advance factory on IDA-owned lands on the outskirts of Tuam.

East Galway’s two ministers are combining their resources to ensure that a major advance factory is provided so that it can whet the appetites of potential investors in the town.

Deputy Sean Canney who is Minister for the Office of Public Works and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor (originally from Milltown) who has responsibility for Jobs and Innovation are to meet over the coming week to discuss the employment situation in Tuam.

They have confirmed that plans will be submitted for an advance factory on the IDA-owned lands on the Dunmore Road out of Tuam. These lands have been vacant for several years.

It has been stated that no new manufacturing industry will come to Tuam unless there is factory space available to them. It is an issue that has been raised on a continuous basis by the Cathaoirleach of the Tuam Municipal Council, Cllr Tom McHugh.

There has been a demand that the IDA apply for planning permission for two advance factories for their 27 acre business park in Tuam which has been idle for almost two decades.

Anger has been expressed that since an IDA representative attended a meeting of Tuam Municipal Council last year, there had been no progress on this front.

Cllr Tom McHugh of Fine Gael is livid over the fact that there has been no response from the IDA since that meeting with regard to their plans for this extensive site on the outskirts of Tuam.

There were calls on the IDA at the time to seek planning permission for two advance factories on the site at Dunmore Road in Tuam but they have failed to lodge any application in this regard.

Cllr McHugh asked a recent of Tuam Municipal Council if there had been any response from the IDA since a representative from the body attended a previous meeting in 2015.

Director of Services Liam Gavin said that there had been no response but said that if the councillor wished, the IDA could be asked back to another meeting of Tuam Municipal Council.

Cllr McHugh asked if there was any point as he said that it was obvious that the IDA had very little interest in Tuam. He said that it wasn’t asking for much for them to just apply for planning permission – if was not that they were being asked to construct the advance factories.

At the meeting last year several councillors urged the IDA not to forget the smaller towns and villages when it came to job creation. However, they were told that this was a huge challenge as investors were targeting the bigger centres of population.

The meeting was attended a Business Development Manager with the IDA, who said that they represented four major employers in Tuam who had created 440 new full time jobs in the town over the past five years.

She specifically referred to Valeo Visions Systems which currently provides more than 1,000 full time and part time jobs at its car components plant on the Dunmore Road.

Cllr McHugh said that this company was currently operating out of at least four different premises and could be accommodated in one unit within the extensive IDA Business Park.