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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
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'This is Longford's day' - Enda Kenny

Around 1,000 permanent jobs and 750 construction phase jobs will be created at the new Center Parcs resort at Ballymahon.

Enda Kenny and Martin Dalby of Center Parcs, today
Enda Kenny and Martin Dalby of Center Parcs, today
Image: Maxwell Photography

Updated 11.52am

THE TAOISEACH HAS described the establishment of a Center Parcs holiday resort at Ballymahon in Co. Longford as a ‘landmark day for Irish tourism’.

Speaking at the official announcement of the project in Ballymahon, Enda Kenny vowed that “Longford is set to become one of the premier tourist destinations not just in Ireland but anywhere around.”

This is a massive opportunity that should not be wasted. Get it right, send a signal.
Longford was always looking for a day like this, now it’s arrived.
This is Longford’s day, Longford’s day for the future.
Young people here will remember this day, which will transform the lives of so many people.

NO FEE CENTER PARCS BALLYMAHON MX2 Dalby, Kenny, and Gerry Murphy of Blackstone, owner of Center Parcs Source: Maxwell

Center Parcs is planning the more than €200 million project at Newcastle Wood, a Coillte-owned site, near Ballymahon and about 12 miles from the M6 motorway at Athlone.

The huge new resort will bring some 1,750 jobs to the region in the coming years.

ballymahon Source: Google Maps

The development is expected to create 1,000 permanent jobs as well as 750 jobs during the construction and will be a major boost for the local economy.

Job creation on that scale will see Center Parcs as employing over 5% of the entire labour force in the sparsely populated county.

Subtropical Swimming Paradise Source: Center Parcs

The construction – which operates five, family-friendly forest resorts in the UK – will see over 500 lodges and villas, alongside spas, bars, restaurants and a swimming pool complex on the 375 acre site near the river Inny.

Local businesses are expected  to benefit considerably from passing trade with an estimated benefit of €32 million annually to the local economy.

The development, which will be one of the largest ever investment and job creation projects in the Midlands,  was by the Taoiseach and Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby.

NO FEE CENTER PARCS BALLYMAHON MX7 (1) Enda Kenny and Martin Dalby at Ballymahon today Source: Maxwell

“We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing the Center Parcs to families in Ireland,” said Dalby.

I am certain that Center Parcs will be a great success in Longford.
We look forward to liaising closely with the local community during the next few months to get across what a Center Parcs holiday village will bring to the area.

Local Fine Gael TD James Bannon is, understandably, delighted, saying: ”This hugely significant development will provide a shot in the arm to the county of Longford and indeed the wider region.”

Center Parcs will reportedly seek planning planning permission within the next six months.  The resort itself is expected to be operational by 2019.

- with additional reporting from Cianan Brennan

Originally published at 10.00 am

More: Is something like this coming to a Co Longford forest?

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Hugh O'Connell

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