Updated: 04/07/17 : 04:53:47
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Urgent progress on Western Distributor Road call by TD

Sligo Leitrim Deputy Marc Mac Sharry has called for urgent progress on the construction of the Western Distributor Road.

“The situation is now critical with all IDA owned lands for advance office and factory buildings to house foreign direct investment exhausted.  The Western Distributor Road is planned for over 15 years following the procurement of 60 acres + in the Oakfield area by the IDA.  With all other sites now used it is of critical importance that these lands are opened up for use to facilitate the efforts of IDA in marketing our area for investment.

"Detailed design is complete and the Council are progressing land acquisition.  This project is effectively ready for tender and so construction finance is now essential.  It is a simple fact that as Sligo seeks to secure FDI in a very competitive market we must have the appropriate infrastructure in place to open up IDA lands for new development."

Deputy Mac Sharry continued, "Total cost is expected to be in the region of €15m and I am calling on Government to take a cross departmental approach to providing these funds in the short term.  The Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, The Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, The Department of Rural & Community Affairs and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport all have skin in the game and so a joint funding approach would ensure a relatively modest contribution from each Department.

"To this end I have contacted each of the line Ministers involved and indeed the Taoiseach to facilitate a coordinated cross departmental funding model to progress this project without delay.  Since 2012 when the so called recovery began the two tiered nature in terms of IDA supported jobs is clear for all to see.  The North East of the country have seen increases of up to 44% while the average nationally is an increase of 20%, the northwest is in last place with just 8.3% a full 53.5% below the average.

"The Government must do more that talk the talk on balanced regional development and supporting job creation in our region. There are many issues to be addressed.  For IDA supported jobs in Sligo Town there is no more important priority at this time than to open the lands at Oakfield with the construction of the Western Distributor Road.  At a cost of just 15m the Government most move to coordinate cross departmental financing of construction without delay," concluded the Sligo based TD.