€40m investment in Shannon Free Zone to be 'accelerated' due to demand

An artist's impression of the new Grade A block at Shannon Free Zone

An artist's impression of the new Grade A block at Shannon Free Zone

A €40 million investment in property at the Shannon Free Zone is to be accelerated due to the demand for commercial property in the region, the company has said.

Shannon Commercial Properties said that by year end it will have brought over 500,000 square feet of new or upgraded office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities to the market in the free zone over the last four years.

The announcement comes after Jaguar and Land Rover confirmed last week that it was to locate to the Shannon Free Zone.

The company, part of the Shannon Group plc, said it was “creating the environment for a high-tech eco-system in the Mid-West that is already reaping dividends for the region” and expressed its confidence that further announcements will follow.

Shannon Group chairman Rose Hynes said the aim for the commercial property arm was “to provide the impetus for the inward investment our region needs to be able to attract employment and achieve sustainable growth.

“Just three years into this investment programme, we are making very significant strides and the team at Shannon Commercial Properties must be commended for that,” she said.

The company plans to accelerate its phase 1 €40m investment programme in state-of-the-art property solutions this year and its managing director Ray O’Driscoll said it was “the biggest investment programme undertaken in recent years in the Shannon Free Zone.

“It’s now paying dividends for the company, for the region and, most importantly, for all those people who will be employed in our state of the art new facilities.

“Last year was an important year for the programme with the completion of a number of large refurbishment projects and commencement of construction of new Grade A office and advanced manufacturing units.

“Such has the impact been from this investment on employment that we are accelerating the programme to make sure we have sufficient capacity to capitalise on the interest from expanding Irish and international businesses in establishing bases here.  Our investment programme is going to make a very significant contribution to this region’s capacity for inward investment and employment growth.

“We have already seen evidence of that this year with the recent 150 job announcement by Jaguar Land Rover and other companies, including in the aviation and aerospace cluster such as Jetpower, and we expect further announcements in the future,” he added.

Among the key elements of the 2017 programme were the commencement of construction of a 56,000 sq. ft. Grade A office block, 33,000 sq. ft. advanced manufacturing unit, securing the first Starbucks drive-thru in the Republic and opening of the Gateway Hub serviced office/co-working/incubation facility at Shannon Free Zone, among others.

Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said: “Shannon Commercial Properties has enormous potential to help drive the economy of the region and that potential has really begun to fall into place.

“We are particularly pleased with the performance of the company. Its programme of investment will not alone enhance the region’s potential to win further indigenous and FDI investment but also stimulate economic activity which will support growth at Shannon Airport.

“By year end we will have invested €40 million in new facilities at the Shannon Free Zone, 90% of which has been snapped-up.  This investment underpins employment in the region by putting in place exactly the type of facilities that top Irish and international companies demand today.”