Natural gas is to be piped into Longford for the first time following the signing of a €3m deal with holiday village operators Center Parcs.
The contract with Gas Networks Ireland will provide a secure source of reliable fuel for the planned €233m Center Parcs Longford Forest resort being constructed at Newcastle Wood in Ballymahon.
Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby described the gas mains as a “fundamental requirement” for the project.
“The significant investment Center Parcs has made in this critical piece of infrastructure will result in a mains gas supply being brought into Co Longford for the first time,” he explained.
“I have stated from the very outset of this project that Center Parcs would have a transformative effect on both Co Longford and the wider Midlands region and it is now up to all the relevant authorities to make sure that the region makes the most of the huge economic benefits that this pipeline and the Center Parcs development will bring,” Mr Dalby added.
Managing director of Gas Networks Ireland, Liam O’Sullivan, acknowledged the decisive role of Center Parcs in facilitating the decision to bring natural gas to Longford.
“Design work is now under way, and construction of the network extension will commence early next year, with the extension expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Gas Networks Ireland will consult extensively with communities and landowners along the route as the project is being developed,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Longford County Council chief executive Paddy Mahon described the deal as a “major milestone” in Longford’s economic development.
“The extension of the natural gas network to this holiday village will further enhance the Center Parcs project and ensure its longevity in the Longford region,” he said.
Center Parcs Longford Forest is due to open in 2019. Once open and operational, the €233m forest holiday village will employ approximately 1,000 people and will have capacity for up to 2,500 guests.
Center Parcs estimates that, when operational, the new holiday village would add approximately €32m to Irish GDP per annum.
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