Sunday 18 August 2019

FDI-chasing business park could double in size under plan

Business park.
Business park.

Dearbhail McDonald - Group Business Editor

Grange Castle Business Park, home to some of the world's largest companies including Google, Microsoft and Pfizer, could double in size as Ireland intensifies its battle for Foreign Direct Investment.

A key vote will take place next week at South Dublin County Council (SDCD) to decide if almost 500 acres adjacent to the park can be rezoned from agricultural to industrial use.

SDCD, which has also commissioned a feasibility study to deliver new innovation spaces in the area, owns some 400 acres of the land, with another 100 acres in private ownership. Over 4,400 people work at Grange Castle, which is more than half occupied at present. SDCC says that, fully developed - and based on the campus's existing footprint - the enlarged site could generate 7,000 new jobs in the coming years. "This is a strategic investment decision for next 20 years, "said Danny McLoughlin, chief executive of SDCC.

"In terms of securing employment in the region, Grange Castle could in time be potentially home to an extra 7,000 jobs."Wholly owned and developed by SDCC, the campus - within 30 minutes of Dublin Airport and Port, is also home to firms such as Takeda, Aryzta, Interxion and Grifols. SDCC refused to be drawn on potential land values, but expects to invest an additional €5m on up-front infrastructural works if the proposal is approved by councillors.

A feasibility study by SQW Ltd and Oxford Innovation has identified Grange Castle as one of two options to develop a new innovation factory for the area which SDCC says could "transform the innovation landscape agenda for South Dublin".

Two specific recommendations include a three-storey 3,000 sq m innovation centre at a waterfront location focused on life science and digital/IT firms.

The second is a new build or refurbishment of existing facilities comprising a similar sized building within the ITT-Tallaght Hospital Corridor which could benefit from proximity to IT Tallaght, Tallaght Hospital, TCD's Medical School, the Local Enterprise Office in South Dublin and Tallaght Town Centre.

Irish Independent

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