Boost for construction as HP gets green light for R&D unit
Computer giant Hewlett-Packard has been granted planning permission for a large research and development building in Galway.
The more than 8,000sqm building in Ballybrit will be able to accommodate up to 700 people. They'll support software development, business services and cloud innovation for the company worldwide.
The new three-storey office will be one of the largest construction projects in Galway in recent times and is expected to employ 150 builders as development gets underway later this year.
Hewlett-Packard announced details of the planned scheme back in April. The council has just given the green light for the investment.
"This investment in Ballybrit is an endorsement of Galway as a strategic location of choice for HP and affirms the company's on-going commitment to its operations in this country," said Hewlett-Packard Ireland managing director Martin Murphy at the time.
Hewlett-Packard, whose CEO is Meg Whitman, employs 4,500 people in Ireland, at locations in Leixlip, Dublin, Galway and Belfast.
In conditions set out by Galway City Council, it has told Hewlett-Packard that the new building must be used as a "specialist" office, "which are usually of a significant scale of employment and can have a high element of processing".
The operations to be moved to the new office are currently undertaken by Hewlett-Packard in its existing Galway facility, where close to 600 people are employed. It intends to retain manufacturing in that current facility until a new premises can be sourced. The company has about 34 staff engaged in manufacturing and distribution at the existing site.
Hewlett-Packard also had to come to agreement with US firm American Power Conversion, which had claimed certain rights-of-way over the land the company is intending to build on.
Hewlett-Packard's is cutting 29,000 jobs around the world in an effort to save $3.5bn (€2.6bn) a year and increase profitability as PC sales slump.