Next steps in implementation of Shannon reforms – Minister Bruton

Legislation will be published before the end of the year to allow

Enterprise Ireland and IDA carry out enterprise development functions in

the Shannon Free Zone after Government agreement was secured by Minister

for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD this week.


Minister Bruton and Minister Varadkar announced in May this year the

Government’s plan to create a new world-class aviation industry at Shannon

as part of a series of reforms of Government agencies operating in the

region. Central to that plan was the decision to merge Shannon Airport and

Shannon Development into a new entity and to transfer Shannon Development’s

functions in relation to indigenous enterprise and foreign direct

investment (FDI) in the Shannon Free Zone to Enterprise Ireland and IDA

Ireland respectively.


In June the Ministers announced the membership of the various groups tasked

with implementing the plans, and those groups are continuing that work.


Part of the reforms previously announced was to task IDA and Enterprise

Ireland with carrying out enterprise development functions in the Shannon

Free Zone, in addition to their existing enterprise development functions

throughout the Shannon region. In addition, the Agencies will develop a

plan for the delivery of enterprise supports in the Shannon region. This

will mean that indigenous and foreign businesses throughout the region will

have direct access to the comprehensive range of supports from the State

enterprise agencies, as well as to a dynamic international airport with

extensive property holdings.


In order to deliver this it is necessary to remove the restriction

contained in the Industrial Development Act 1986 on Enterprise Ireland and

IDA Ireland carrying out enterprise development functions in the Shannon

Free Zone (SFZ). Government yesterday agreed to the drafting of new

legislation to remove this restriction, which is expected to be published

before the end of 2012, with enactment by the Oireachtas thereafter.

Minister Bruton said:

As previously stated, this Government is committed to securing a bright

future for the Shannon region. This week we have decided to make swift

legislative change to ensure that Enterprise Ireland and IDA can, as soon

as possible start delivering enterprise support services in the Shannon

Free Zone. This represents a step along the road to creating a new future

for Shannon. Much important work remains to be done, and that work is

continuing. I am convinced that with the right reforms properly

implemented, that a bright future can be delivered, and Government will

continue to work hard to ensure that happens”.