Limerick set to get a treble jobs boost

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Biopharma firm Regeneron is expected to invest millions in setting up a plant in Dell's former manufacturing plant in Raheen
LIMERICK is in line for a triple jobs boost in the coming weeks, with news of three big investments for the city suburbs.

LIMERICK is in line for a triple jobs boost in the coming weeks, with news of three big investments for the city suburbs.

At least 350 new jobs are being planned, with the potential for more to come.

It looks more likely this week that biopharmaceutical firm Regeneron is going to invest millions to set up a plant in a unit in Raheen formerly used by Dell’s manufacturing arm - a move which would see 300 new jobs here.

The company has recently confirmed in a Securities and Exchange Filing in America, that it intends to take over the 400,000 square foot facility.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan was in Raheen on Monday morning to formally open a new factory for high-tech electronic engineering company ON Semiconductor.

The company has invested €2.5m in the state-of-the-art facility, and company bosses now say this puts Limerick at the heart of ON Semiconductor’s global operation.

It is hoped in the coming years that 50 new jobs will be created in Raheen.

In a third piece of good news, Mr Noonan will officially open Roches Feeds’ new manufacturing facility in the Dock Road.

The company - which manufactures animal feed with dedicated nutritionists - currently employs 40 people.

But a fresh announcement on the firm’s plans is expected next Monday morning.

Things could get even better still for the city, with the Limerick Leader learning that the IDA has scheduled a number of high-profile visits to the city by companies from abroad interested in expanding.

It is believed Mr Noonan is putting pressure on the IDA job creation agency to deliver for his home constituency, which still has more than 20,000 people out of work.

The potential presence of Regeneron in Limerick has already been hailed by Chamber boss Maria Kelly as “the most significant announcement we will have had in 20 years”.

Asked this Monday about American firm Regeneron, Breda O’Toole, regional development director with the IDA, said: “Obviously our pipeline would include a company like this. I am sure you will hear about it in due course.”

Mr Noonan added: “A lot of these things are commercially sensitive. The IDA report to Minister Richard Bruton, and if an announcement is ready to be made, it will be made. A lot of what goes on is very sensitive.”

The news of new jobs comes against the backdrop of potentially 169 redundancies at Andersen Ireland in Rathkeale.

The company, which manufactures custom jewellery is to go into voluntary liquidation.

Mr Noonan said: “Industries are letting people go when they are no longer strong in the market, and new industries are coming in which are stronger. There is a constant churn”.