“Longford was always waiting for a day like this, now it’s got its opportunity.”
That’s how Taoiseach Enda Kenny summed up last week’s announcement by holiday resort firm, Center Parcs that it will open a €200m leisure facility in Ballymahon.
The company hopes to create 750 jobs during construction and 1,000 jobs in the holiday v illage itself.
The plan is subject to planning permission.
“This is one of the biggest investments in tourism in our country for a very long time,” the Taoiseach said at the official launch.
“This is Longford’s day, this is Longford’s preparation for the future.
“Young people who are here, let them remember this day so that for the next 20, 30, 40 years they can recall the day Center Parcs came to Ballymahon to transform their lives, careers and opportunities.”
Chief Executive Officer of Center Parcs, Martin Dalby vowed to transform the proposed 375-acre site at Newcastle Woods into one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations.
“It’s a really big milestone in the life of our company and for Ballymahon,” he told onlookers.
Mr Dalby said the scale of the project, when complete, would inject €32m each year to Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It’s expected plans for the state-of-the-art holiday village will be submitted to Longford County Council by early autumn.
Meanwhile, the company is expected to host an Open Day in Ballymahon in the coming weeks to address any issues that people have.
For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.