IDA Visit to Balbriggan – 6th June 2015

Pictured l-r: – Kevin Tolan – Chamber Manager, Chris Harmon – Chamber Vice-President, Anthony Murphy – Chamber President, Breda O’Toole, IDA Head of Regional Development, Thomas McEvoy – IDA – Senior Property Executive & Donogh McGowan – Chamber Secretary.

It was a bright day in Balbriggan on Thursday 6th June last and not just because of the glorious weather! Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce hosted representatives of the IDA in the Bracken Court Hotel where they made a presentation encompassing the working history of Balbriggan, demographics, infrastructure, available zoned lands and potential ‘property solutions’. A tour of the town followed the presentation and included visits to a selection of properties which may provide accommodation for companies seeking suitable premises from which to operate. The tour included a visit to the ‘Fumbally Exchange’ in Railway Street demonstrating how a modern & innovative working hub has been established & continues to thrive in the heart of Balbriggan. The presentation & tour also showcased some of the ‘non-commercial ‘ aspects of Balbriggan including the harbour & beach areas, Balbriggan Golf Club & Ardgillan Park and Demesne.

Chamber President Anthony Murphy, said that this was a hugely significant meeting & provided an opportunity to directly market the town of Balbriggan as a potential location for Foreign Direct Investment. The IDA now have the necessary information to consider Balbriggan as a destination and home for potential future employers.

The Balbriggan visit followed an initial meeting between Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce and
the IDA which took place in the IDA offices in Wilton Place on 26th May last. The fact that the IDA agreed to visit Balbriggan within 2 weeks of our first meeting speaks for itself.

We were proud to showcase companies who have chosen to locate and continue to successfully operate in Balbriggan such as, Arvato-Sonopress, Bridgestone, Techcrete and of course Wavin which has been synonymous with Balbriggan since 1962. The National Passport Office was also a good example of how a Government Department chose Balbriggan as a suitable location.

Tony thanked Chris Harmon, Kevin Tolan & Donogh McGowan for all their work in preparing for the meeting and believes that a strong professional working relationship has begun that will hopefully yield positive results for Balbriggan in the near future. He also took the opportunity to publicly thank Breda & Thomas for their valued contribution to what was a very productive discussion.

Balbriggan has experienced the fastest percentage growth in population in Ireland between census 2006 & 2011. People need education, healthcare and employment. The Department of Education have recognized this and ensured that the school chairs will be there for our children.

The Dept. of Health has also recognised this and our new Primary Care Centre was recently granted planning permission. As a Chamber of Commerce, we need to ensure that the jobs are there for our population as they reach employment age so that they do not have to emigrate or rely on social welfare and that they, like their parents and grandparents did but work in Balbriggan, provide for their family and feel pride in themselves and pride in their town.

There is good reason why we entitled our presentation ‘Balbriggan – A Working Town’…