Doubts over Sky Innovation Park jobs in Tipperary town

Business Park has potential to 'turn Tipperary around' with hundreds of jobs. 

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@tipperarystar.ie

Doubts over Sky Innovation Park jobs in Tipperary town

Emma Pillion, Property Director with Corajio Trading, and TD Alan Kelly on the site of the new innovation park in Tipperary town.

Doubts about the future of Tipperary town’s Sky Innovation Park have been dismissed by Labour TD Alan Kelly this week.

Tipperary town Cllr Denis Leahy said he understood that the businessman who owns the building, and operated a warehouse for the Mr Price retail chain had decided to move his operation to Athlone.

The warehouse had employed about 15 people.

The Sky Innovation Park was launched in 2017 and has the potential to create 700 jobs. Cllr Leahy told the Tipperary Star that more work needs to be completed on the 100,000-plus sq ft building, set on 1.5 hectares just outside Tipperary town, before the IDA can take over the site.

Planning permission and zoning were changed for the site, but it’s understood this now has to be re-zoned, and upgraded with certain works, before the site can be officially handed over to the IDA, who will then fill it with clients. “It will be handed over to the IDA in its entirety,” said Cllr Leahy. The handover date has yet to be announced.

Even if only half the expected 700 jobs materialised, it would transform the town completely, said Cllr Leahy. “300 jobs would do us fine. You could turn around the whole town with 300 jobs. You’d open the shops. There would be huge spin-off effects.”

Deputy Alan Kelly TD, who was instrumental in the park’s launch in 2017, has clarified that the park is still going ahead. Backers of the project say up to 150 permanent jobs can be created in phase one of the site’s occupancy, with an additional 84 jobs supported by the facility, while 450 jobs could be in place by phase three, with an extra 251 indirect positions.

Labour TD Alan Kelly, who worked on the development of the site with owners Corajio - operators of the successful Mr Price retail chain - described Sky Innovation Park “a game-changer for Tipperary.” IDA Ireland have told Corajio, at meetings organised by Alan Kelly, that Sky Innovation Park will be added to its list of sites to promote once planning is secured and the fit-out of the building is ready for visits.