Members of Drumshanbo Community Council and Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone: (l-r) Sean McGloin; Noel McPartland; Enda McGloin; Bea Cullen; Sean Nolan; Joseph McManus & Fergal McPartland
The purchase of a former IDA factory in Drumshanbo is paving the way for the creation of more than 50 new jobs as part of the first phase of the Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone project.
When all phases of the project are completed this facility will have the potential to deliver over 130 new jobs for the region, a major boost for the local community.
Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone, a locally based community company, has this week completed the purchase of the old IDA advance factory, formerly known as BFN Ltd or Matil, located on the Dowra road just outside Drumshanbo.
Last year the Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Enterprise Ireland awarded over €953,000 towards the purchase and conversion of the factory into a state-of-the art food manufacturing facility.
The Food Hub at Drumshanbo has presently over 90 people employed and is fully occupied. The new units when completed later in 2020 will cater for more food start ups and entrepreneurs and bring more employment into the region.
The directors of Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone and Drumshanbo Community Council announced the conclusion of the purchase of the new premises this week.
Chairperson of the Community Council, Enda McGloin recorded his thanks to his fellow directors for their work and in particular to Fergal McPartland and Orla Casey for their efforts in preparing the pitch to Enterprise Ireland.
Mr McGloin paid particular thanks to Claire Moran of Cathal L Flynn and Company for her legal work and advice over the previous months in securing the property.
In conclusion he also thanked Leitrim County Council in particular for their strong support at all stages of the process.
Joseph Gilhooly, director of services at Leitrim County Council, said they were delighted to support the emergence of a new food infrastructure project in Drumshanbo.
"Given The Food Hub, under the guidance of Drumshanbo Community Council, has led the way in a community enterprise stimulus project and providing the environment to bring over 90 jobs to the town, it is exciting that a new generation project, Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone, is building on that success and creating a new home for four to five food companies that will add over 50 more jobs to Drumshanbo," he said.
Joe Lowe, head of enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Leitrim described plans to convert the empty building into “the next generation food incubator for Leitrim and beyond” as “very exciting”.
"Drumshanbo Community Council has proven that a community, working closely with the council and development agencies such as the LEO and Enterprise Ireland can have a transformational impact on an area,” he added.
"The town is already recognized nationally as a 'Town of Food', this new investment will both copper fasten and grow that reputation.
"Given Brexit is looming we are particularly interested in encouraging food companies to relocate to Co Leitrim."
Enterprise Ireland Regional Director for the North East and North West region, Aidan McKenna also welcomed the announcement noting: “The purchase of these premises in Drumshanbo, which could potentially generate over 130 jobs for the region, is hugely welcome and represents the first phase of the Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone project.
"Our Enterprise Ireland regional team is looking forward to collaborating with all of the stakeholders involved to ensure the project stimulates growth and prosperity,” he said in conclusion this week.