UP to 35 jobs look set to be created in Kilmallock after Limerick County Council have given the green light to transform the centre of the town with a new multi-million euro town centre retail development.
The applicant, local businessman James Beechinor, says he is “delighted” to be given the opportunity to provide “the badly needed jobs in the area that this development will provide”.
Mr Beechinor said he has “no doubt that this development, when operational, will generate extra footfall in the town centre and all the other businesses in the town will benefit from it”.
It is anticipated that between 35 to 50 jobs will be created during the construction phase with another 35 jobs being provided in the long-term.
“It is very good news for the town of Kilmallock at a time when the town is so badly in need of a boost,” said Mr Beechinor who currently employs 30 people between the Xpress Stop Service Stations in Kilmallock and at O’Rourke’s Cross, Bruree.
Work on the new development - which is earmarked for the Sarsfield Street/Orr Street area of the town - could commence as soon as mid-summer. Negotiations are ongoing with a major retail franchise in relation to the development’s anchor retail unit.
The work to be carried out includes the demolition of the nightclub building at the rear of the Old Oak, the demolition of the former post office and barber shop facing onto Sarsfield Street and the construction of a new retail unit with an office on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor fronting onto Sarsfield Street.
Further works include the construction of a pedestrian access archway and walkway from Sarsfield Street to the new car park and shopping centre area, the construction of an enclosed deck area for the Old Oak pub and Natalie’s Bistro, and the construction of a new retail unit with delivery loading bay on Sarsfield Street.
A new car park area will provide 45 car spaces with vehicular access from Orr Street. There will be a new access to both Natalie’s Bistro and the Old Oak bar from the new car park.
The planning permission has been granted subject to 32 conditions. Mr Beechinor has had a long association with the site in question having operated the Old Oak pub and nightclub for a number of years. The pub is to be reopened once the development is completed.
“I am very grateful to the residents and fellow businesses of the immediate area who were so supportive and considerate of the new development and I know they see this as very positive for the area,” said Mr Beechinor.
“Some months ago, the county manager, Conn Murray, visited Kilmallock and met with the business community. I was impressed with what he had to say in terms of encouraging and facilitating new business in Kilmallock and other towns in the county,” Mr Beechinor added.
The businessman said it has always been his ambition to develop business and create employment in his local areas “and we look forward to working with the relevant authorities into the future to achieve this aim”.
“We have very strong commercial and investment ties here in Kilmallock and it is our long-term interest to continue to broaden and grow these interests and to work with the local community to achieve growth and increase employment in our local town. We are getting around the most severe economic crisis that we have known for a long time, growth is positive albeit still fragile but I think the worst is behind us.”