Barrack Lane Shopping Centre in Granard could be transformed into a state of the art nursing home, subject to planning being approved
The owners of a vacant north Longford shopping centre are hoping to create anything up to 100 new jobs by transforming it into a new, state of the art nursing home.
The Leader was first to disclose details of the plan back in November after Granard's Barrack Lane Shopping Centre went under the hammer.
The 40,000 sq ft facility, built by the late PJ Matthews, was snapped up for €355,000 in a BidX1 online property auction two months earlier.
The acquisition soon hastened talks between local authority chiefs and the centre's new owners about how best to redevelop the building.
Now, it's emerged those plans include provisions to recondition the site into a fully fledged nursing home.
Subject to planning approval, the development is expected to create in the region of 60-80 permanent jobs with hopes that figure could rise to over 120 positions altogether.
The Leader also understands plans are in place to construct 17 houses adjacent to the site.
It's understood that development will precede the designs surrounding the proposed nursing home.
Those plans, previously submitted and granted approval for 23 houses back in 2004, are expected to be lodged with Longford County Council over the coming days.
Cathaoirleachs of both the County and Granard Municipal District, Cllrs Martin Mulleady and PJ Reilly both gave their glowing endorsement to the proposal this week.
Cllr Mulleady said the venture had the potential to bring a “lot of employment” to the north Longford area, remarks which were mirrored by Cllr Reilly.
“This is great news for Granard,” he said.
“A nursing home will bring great access to the community, it will bring jobs to the community and what's more it will support business and not take from them.”
Cllr Reilly said the added bonus of an anticipated nine OPDs (Older Persons Dwellings) at the rear of the town's former Ulster Bank alongside Council plans to open up a road from the bank to the local garda station had the capacity to revitalise that end of town.