The head of regional business development with the IDA was in Longford last Thursday where she met with Deputy James Bannon (FG).
Breda O’Toole met with the local TD after the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton requested a new focus on potential investment opportunities for Longford.
“I am looking forward to working with the local authority on how best to attract foreign direct investment to the area because there are plenty of things that can be done to improve Longford’s standing,” said Ms O’Toole. “It is obvious that there are parts of Longford that could do with a facelift in order for the town to put its best foot forward and that includes the large number of vacant units and industrial estates.”
The meeting also heard that the county should be exploiting resources like Abbeyshrule Airfield - resources Ms O’Toole added, that were “exactly the kind of thing that local authorities and agencies should be using to entice inward investment”.
Speaking to the Leader following the meeting Deputy Bannon said that it was “productive”. “I pointed out to the IDA what an attractive place Longford was to do business in, and highlighted the need for more jobs in the county,” he added. “Ms O’Toole informed me that we also need to promote Longford in a more positive light and that our infrastructure needs to improve.”
The dilapidation and run down look of the Athlone approach road into Longford town was also discussed during the meeting, and all parties agreed that the matter would have to be addressed. “The IDA recognises that Longford is a very central location and that we as a county look to sectors like IT and encourage companies to do business here,” continued Deputy Bannon. “I feel it was a very positive meeting and Ms O’Toole will meet with the county manager and directors of services at Longford Co Council in the coming weeks in relation to moving forward on this.”
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