Amgen ‘will never build’ €820m factory at Cork site

One of the world’s leading biotechnology companies has said it has no intention of resuscitating a €820m plan to create a 1,100-job factory in Co Cork.

In Jan 2009, Amgen decided to ‘indefinitely postpone’ building a bulk manufacturing facility in Carrigtwohill. But in a letter to a county councillor, it has now stated it has no plans to ever locate a factory there.

Cllr Noel Collins (Ind), who lives in nearby Midleton, said he wrote to the company late last year enquiring about the possibility that it might reactivate the project.

He said he recently received “a lengthy response” which stated that “the company has no plans to resume investment there.”

In 2009, the IDA said that Amgen would retain the 188-acre purpose-built site — situated on the side of the main Cork-Midleton road — so that if circumstances were to change, “it might lead to a re-commencement of plans.”

Mr Collins said the site had now reverted to the ownership of the IDA.

He added while the Amgen letter was naturally very disappointing, it was vital the IDA now sought a new tenant for the site.

“It’s yet another industrial site growing weeds while so many young people are unemployed or having to emigrate,” Mr Collins said.

Councillors from Midleton, Youghal and Cobh have also called on the IDA to pay more attention to bringing high-tech jobs into those towns.

While Midleton still retains one or two large industries, Cobh and Youghal have been decimated by job losses in recent years.

Cobh, once considered as an industrial powerhouse, has seen the closure of Irish Steel/Irish Ispat, IFI and Verolme dockyard.

Cllr Michelle Hennessy (SF), said in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, Youghal also had a number of big companies, but has no industry left. “Now we have no factory and have to rely on heritage and tourism.”

Meanwhile, Cork County Council is to lobby TDs and ministers on behalf of Cork Airport in an effort to increase traffic there. The council’s Tourism Special Purposes Committee decided the move after hearing the airport has lost 500,000 passengers since 2008.

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