A letter written on behalf of Longford Town Council seeking the assistance of the Irish ambassador in London to stage an evening in the London Embassy celebrating what Longford has to offer has been met with a favourable response.
During February’s Town Council meeting, Cllr Peggy Nolan had proposed for a meeting with the Longford diaspora to be organised in London in the hope of attracting inward investment into the county. Cllr Nolan requested that a letter be sent to the Irish Embassy in London seeking their assistance in the matter.
At last week’s Town Council meeting, Town Clerk Dan Rooney confirmed a positive response had been received.
“The Irish Embassy would have extensive contacts in the UK and I would see this as a fantastic opportunity for Longford to sell itself to the Irish diaspora, and in particular, the Longford diaspora, so many of whom are working with major international companies,” a delighted Cllr Nolan said.
A committee will now be set up with members of the Town Council, the County Council and Longford County Enterprise Board. It is also intended to create a power point presentation highlighting all of the available industrial units and greenfield sites, as well as the infrastructure and other facilities within the county.
As plans are at an early stage, no date has been set for the meeting but it is hoped it will be held in either October/November or in January/February to coincide with the Longford Association Dinner Dance in London.
Explaining her reasons for pitching the idea, Cllr Nolan described the revelation that the IDA had not brought a single potential client on a visit to Longford in three years as a catalyst. “The agencies in charge of bringing investment into this county are simply not doing it. The IDA has not done anything for this county in three years. We have to do it ourselves, because no one else is,” Cllr Nolan explained.
“No one can promote Longford like a Longford person who truly believes in Longford, and there’s no better people than the individuals elected by the people of this county to represent them,” she added.
The end goal is to encourage and facilitate investment into the county that will lead to possible job creation. “If this creates ten jobs; if it takes ten people off the dole in Longford, then it will be a success. And this is not just about Longford town, this is about creating jobs anywhere in Longford,” Cllr Nolan said.
Asked if this could become another expensive junket fuelled by the taxpayer, Cllr Nolan was adamant that any councillor who goes, does so at their own expense. “The most important thing is that there cannot be a cost to the taxpayer over this. I’ve been very clear on this, everyone should pay their own way.”
Cllr Nolan also added she hoped for all suitable agencies to become involved in this project, including the IDA, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.