BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
The construction of a new purpose-built European Software Centre by Hewlett Packard in Ballybrit – which will create up to 350 new jobs – has been hailed by the Taoiseach as a major boost for Galway.
Mr Kenny was in town yesterday for the announcement of the new building – which will see up to 200 new positions created, as well as a further 150 during construction.
The project – first revealed by this newspaper 12 months ago – is currently with city planners, who are awaiting further information on a right of way issue, as well as more detailed drawings of the proposed 90,000 square foot building, which will be located on a six-acre site beside the existing HP building.
The three-storey building will replace the existing 40 year-old premises, which no longer meets HP’s requirements.
Speaking at the announcement, the Taoiseach said: “The construction of a new state of the art R&D building by HP is a testament to their Galway staff and operations in Ireland.
“The project will create 150 construction jobs during its development and will provide a much-needed boost for this sector.
“HP has been a valued business partner in Ireland throughout the years and this new investment will see HP and Ireland remain at the forefront of software research and cloud computing technology,” said Mr Kenny.
John Hinshaw, HP’s Executive Vice President of Global Technology and Operations, said: ”Our facilities in Galway are proving to successfully attract some of the best and brightest talent in key IT growth areas for HP. We are pleased to announce an investment in a new state of the art facility to support future development of new cutting edge technologies,” said Mr Hinshaw.
Mark Gantly, Managing Director in Galway, praised his existing workforce of 600 who helped secure the new investment.
In March, our sister newspaper the Galway City Tribune, reported that HP is in a row with neighbouring multinational APC over the plans for the new building.
A submission – and not an outright objection – by APC on the planning application expressed concerns that their building will be “dwarfed” by the new HP building, as well as over access and a right of way.
Those issues must be addressed by HP before planners can make a decision, although the company has said it is confident the application will be approved.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel