Hard pressed businesses urged to capitalise on Kerry Group boost

Kildare County Manager Michael Malone, Mary Fitzpatrick, Kildare County Enterprise Board, Orlaith Carmody and Eoin O'Connell, MD of Kerry Ingredients and Flavours EMA pictured at the County Enterprise Board Business Conference in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge.
RETAILERS in Naas town centre should make the most of the business opportunities presented by the imminent arrival of Kerry Group.

RETAILERS in Naas town centre should make the most of the business opportunities presented by the imminent arrival of Kerry Group.

Two senior company representatives, Ian Howard and Eoin O’Connell, recently outlined to Naas Town Council representatives the plans for the multi million euro research and development plant facility which will create 800 jobs, almost of half which will be technology/information/regulatory professionals.

They anticipate that a “large number” of employees and families will live in Co. Kildare; although many are also likely to live in Dublin.

Apart from the employment created, the company expects that property values will be enhanced and there will be business opportunities for other enterprises like hotels where conferences are hosted. The company has indicated it will have a banking partnership with AIB.

A total of 10 sites in the Greater Dublin area were examined before the company chose the under-utilised Millennium Park, partly because of its proximity to the airport.

“I don’t know how many employees will transfer in here; but most will be recruited,” Mr. O’Connell told a Naas Town Council meeting.

The company’s decision to locate in Naas was the best thing to happen since the canal was built, said Cllr. Darren Scully.

“This is a major confidence boost; there has been a lot of negativity for last 4-5 years,” said Cllr. Scully.

“It will bring a tide to this town which will lift a lot of boats, new retail units will open and we should get the message out that there will be a lot of business opportunities in Naas,” he added.

Cllr. Pat Clear said the jobs are welcome at a time when so many young people are emigrating.

The plant is expected to fully open in early 2015.