More than 1,000 Construction jobs coming to Longford
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has kicked off construction of a €233m development in Ballymahon, County Longford.
Center Parcs Longford Forest will create 750 jobs during the construction phase which is due to be completed by the summer of next year.
Mr Varadkar said the development will be a significant development for the Longford region, which has faced economic challenges.
"The €200m investment is almost certainly the biggest in the region’s history. The Government is very conscious that Longford has faced economic challenges, but the tide is turning," he said.
According to Center Parcs, the 400-acre site will host up to 2,500 guests and employ 1,000 people in permanent jobs, including conservation rangers, contributing €32m to Ireland's annual GDP.
"This exciting development by Center Parcs represents a significant investment in the Irish economy and especially in tourism," Mr Varadkar said.
An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald echoed these sentiments, adding that the Government was committed to creating jobs in rural Ireland.
"The Center Parcs Longford Forest development is great news for the midlands and Longford in particular. A key priority of this Government is to create jobs in rural Ireland and this significant number will be transformative for this region," the Business Minister added.
The CEO of Center Parcs, which operates five other destinations in the UK, said the positive effects of the development are already being seen in the region.
"We have always said that this project would have a transformative effect on the Midlands and we are already seeing signs of the positive economic impact that Center Parcs will bring to the region," Martin Dalby said.
The construction was also welcomed by the Chief Executive of IDA Ireland.
"The number of jobs created and the value to the Midlands economy will be substantial. The development will also increase the attractiveness of the county and the region," according to Martin Shanahan.