Cllr Seamie Moore
The Naas Cotton Mills premises, off Newbridge Road, should be used as a venue to create employment.
Naas councillor Seamie Moore wants finance to be made available from Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund to pay for the transformation.
Cllr Moore said a skills training centre should be developed at the cotton mills to support new construction projects in the area.
According to Kildare County Council, it is working actively with the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board and “would be very anxious to facilitate any new such developments”.
KCC has pointed out that €2m has been allocated from the Regional Enterprise Fund in December 2017 for the development of the Mid East Region innovation think space (MERITS). In all €30m. was allocated for 21 successful projects, including Naas (there were 75 applications for funding).
According to Jacqui McNabb, head of Enterprise at the Kildare Local Enterprise Office, the €2m will secure the development of a regional sector tech cluster and provide suitable enterprise premises as well as employment in Naas.
MERITS will be located in a two storey building on a site adjacent to KCC’s offices.
Cllr Moore said that MERITS is a high tech enterprise and the NCM could be used by small businesses wishing to expand. He also said that a good deal of construction work is taking place in the Naas area, mainly in the residential construction sector. He said there doesn’t seem to be a plan to capitalise on the jobs this could provide locally and “Kildare County Council needs to be more proactive.”