A site donated to Tralee Town Council by Kerry Group could be a catalyst for the regeneration of the centre of the town.
The global food giant, whose corporate headquarters is in Tralee, has handed over the former Denny’s bacon factory site without preconditions. The 2.5–acre site, disused for the past six years, is in the heart of the town and the council is open-minded about its future uses.
Tralee mayor Pat Hussey yesterday said it may be considered for a long-awaited events centre, which could host conferences, exhibitions, concerts and other public events.
“This is a most generous gift and it shows the confidence the Kerry Group has in Tralee. We [the council] never expected to get a shock like this,’’ he stated.
‘’This is a prime site and it would have cost millions [of euro] to buy it. This is beyond our wildest dreams — like winning the Lotto.’’
The announcement was made at Monday night’s council meeting.
The council has been concerned for some years about the decline in business in the town and the number of vacant commercial premises to let.
Kerry Group corporate affairs director Frank Hayes said they wanted to see the triangular site used in the best interests of Tralee and its people: “We’re beginning to see an uplift in the economy and I believe our decision is coming at the right time... We’ve been in active discussions with the council’s management with regard to the future development of the town centre and we hope this will facilitate an in-depth plan for the centre.’’
Kerry Group is engaged in a €5m refurbishment of its offices in Tralee. The town council, meanwhile, hopes to have the old factory site in order by the end of this year and planners will work on proposals for its future use in the meantime.
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