There was good news for Co Kildare on the employment front in the past week, with the announcement that planning permission has been approved for a major Kerry Group project at Millennium Park near Naas, along with the move by IT solutions company OpenSky to increase its workforce. The company, based in the Osprey Business Park in Naas, currently employs 50 people, but plans to increase the total to 80 over the coming 18 months.
The Kerry Group project, which was originally announced last October, is set to bring up to 900 jobs to the Millennium Park site and there was a broad welcome in the past week for the decision to approve planning permission.
Some 400 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with employment in the operation (focusing on food science and technology) beginning in 2015 and rising to the planned total of 900 employees in 2016.
The anticipated spin-off for Naas and all of the surrounding areas is huge, with Naas mayor cllr Willie Callaghan telling the ***Kildare Nationalist*** on Friday that he believed the entire area would benefit.
“The experience with companies like Intel, for example, is that there is a very wide spin-off. Naturally, business in Naas itself should benefit, but not all of the workers will live in Naas and there should be a boost to surrounding towns and villages as well.”
Cllr Callaghan said that he also believed that the Kerry Group operation would serve to attract other business investment to the locality. He said that he was delighted that the planning process had been handled so quickly, noting: “Those involved have worked closely from the outset with county council officials to ensure that things ran smoothly.”
Saying that construction is likely to go ahead quickly, cllr Callaghan added: “I understand they have taken a number of offices at Millennium Park on a temporary basis in preparation for the construction phase and there are already a large number of people based there. At least a month has to be allowed to facilitate the appeals process, but I believe the work will commence very quickly after that.”
It is understood that the Kerry Group development is already giving a boost to the housing market in Naas and surrounding areas, with the company itself actively seeking out accommodation for senior management personnel. Meanwhile, auctioneers in the locality are also hoping for a considerable uptake in both the sale and rental markets when the Millennium Park project becomes fully operational and staff are taken on in substantial numbers.
Fine Gael Kildare North TD Anthony Lawlor also welcomed the announcement, praising “the speedy manner” in which the planning application was processed. He also commented on the need to make progress on infrastructural projects, including the upgrading of the Osberstown treatment plant, the Osberstown interchange and the Sallins bypass, along with increasing local broadband speeds.
Also welcoming the OpenSky announcement, deputy Lawlor said it was further proof that the area was becoming “an attractive location for both multinational and smaller companies.” Source: www.kildare-nationalist.ie