A UK-based private equity firm has warned Mac Group over Dublin delays
Pressure is mounting on Irish construction firms from international backers and financiers over stalled projects because of the continued shutdown of the sector.
London-based Valorem Investment Partners warned Irish contractor Mac Group that the inactivity on its major 120,000 square foot mixed use development site at Newmarket Square in Dublin 8 was having a “massively detrimental effect” on the project.
The warning came in a letter seen by the Sunday Independent and is just one example of what an industry source described as an “incredulous” reaction from international clients to Ireland’s construction lockdown.
“I wanted to write expressing my concern at the continued lockdown of construction in Ireland and the damage that is causing to our business,” wrote Martin Claisse of Valorem, a UK based asset manager that is part of a consortium of backers at Newmarket, to Mac’s director Eddie Campion.
“As you know we are a foreign direct investment company and along with our fellow investors in the Newmarket project we are providing much needed employment in Dublin whilst making a very significant contribution to the regeneration of an important part of Dublin’s inner city,” it said.
“You will be only too aware that projects such as ours at Newmarket need to be delivered in as swift and timely a manner as possible and so the decision by the Irish Government to continue with the lockdown of construction is having a massively detrimental effect on the business. This is not only in terms of your ability to finish the construction but also in our ability to secure a suitable tenant due to the uncertainty around a delivery date.”
Claisse said he is frustrated as “Ireland seems to be at odds with nearly every other country in treating construction in this way”.
He told Campion to “feel free to register my dissatisfaction with your Government”.
The letter follows a similar warning by Ardmore Studios. It said it was under pressure from Hollywood clients because work to double the size of the Co Wicklow film studio had stalled.
A senior industry source admitted there is growing frustration in construction between firms who can work and those who cannot under the partial lockdown.
The source said workers were leaving firms shut by the lockdown and moving to those that remain open, causing “huge frustration” as companies lose skills and labour to rivals.