Galway Airport site ‘an ideal IT hub’

Galway’s two local authorities are to employ consultants to carry out a feasibility study on the 115-acre site that contains Galway Airport.

Galway Airport site ‘an ideal IT hub’

Last November, Galway city and county councils purchased the site for €1.1m in a bid to ensure that the economic potential of the large strategic tract of land was realised.

The move followed the State ending subsidies for the airport in 2011, which led to a gradual withdrawal of commercial air services from the facility.

The most recent accounts for the firm that operated the airport — Corrib Airport Ltd — show that it had accumulated losses totalling €5.6m at the end of December 2012.

In the tender documentation, the local authorities state that a host of uses can be considered for the future of the land — including manufacturing; R&D; aviation activity renewable energy activity; food production; logistics and providing a site for the film industry.

According to the councils: “the scoping study should also examine the short, medium and long-term potential of the site in recognition of the current capital investment limitations within the Irish economy”.

The site contains the airport terminal building, two adjoining hangar units and three car parks.

The councils have also asked the successful tender to provide a rationale for the selection of proposals for the site and the financial implications of the various options.

The consultants are to also examine the possibility of a public-private partnership for the site, and bodies to be consulted during the study phase include third-level institutions in the region; private sector business and agencies including the IDA, Teagasc, Enterprise Ireland and Údaras na Gaeltachta.

Former Galway city mayor, Cllr Pádraig Conneely (FG) said yesterday that the site “is ideally placed for an industrial IT hub”.

“It is very accessible, as it is very close to the Dublin motorway, and is on the right side of Galway in terms of traffic.”

Consultants tendering for the work have until September 11 to lodge their tenders.

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