western rail corridor
rail links




West=On=Track - News

Western Rail Essential

Western Development Commission's 'Jobs For Towns' Report
Thursday December 18th 2003


In its drive to promote continued inward investment to small towns and infrastructure in the West, the Western Development Commission (WDC) released a new report, 'Jobs for Towns - Small and Medium-Sized Towns on Radial Routes in the Western Region', today (15th December 2003) in Knock Airport. The report, which was officially launched by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr. Éamon Ó Cuív, was presented to approximately two hundred members of the region's local authorities, development agencies, local representatives, in addition to Church and government officials.

The Jobs for Towns report profiles twenty small and medium sized towns in the West of Ireland as locations for inward investment - including both state decentralisation and commercial investment. It also highlights the potential that existing and future jobs imports to small towns, and to Knock Airport, has in improving air and rail access to the entire seven-county region, which the WDC serves.

In his address, Minister Éamon Ó Cuív commended the WDC for the work which the body has been doing in the region since 1997 and noted that eight out of the twenty towns identified in the WDC's report have been selected as locations for Government decentralisation. The Minister stated that, "The Jobs for Towns Report will be extremely useful to businesses and Government Departments who relocate to the Western Region," and he urged Local Authorities, Chambers of Commerce, and development organisations to "make full use of this report to encourage more businesses to set up in the West."

Mr Gerry Kearney, Secretary General of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, also acknowledged the work being carried out by the WDC noting that he was pleased that the WDC was "advancing the case for the West." In reference to the Department's relocation to Knock, Mr Kearney said he and his colleagues in the Civil Service, welcomed the challenge and looked forward to being of service to the people and communities of the region.

Speaking on behalf of the WDC, Lisa McAllister, CEO, said that the WDC welcomed the opportunity to put forward the case for decentralisation to go into small towns in the Western region as requested by Minister Ó Cuív last July. "The crux of the report is that small towns matter" said Ms McAllister, "and we are pleased that the Government's decision to locate to small towns in the West recognises this."

Western Rail Essential

The WDC report points out that, although factors such as the availability of broadband, energy (both electric and gas), and waste and water infrastructure, are very important when it comes to small town's competitive positioning for future inward investment, access to and from the region remains a key challenge. "In this respect, direction from Government on the future of the Western Rail Corridor is essential" stated Lisa McAllister, "particularly now as people, who are considering relocating to the region, will need to know if a rail link is a reality."

Concluding her address, Lisa McAllister said that she hoped that the experiences of people from the initial decentralised departments locating to the West, would serve as the best advocate for future job relocations. "I am confident that these experiences, combined with the many quality of life advantages highlighted in the 'Jobs for Towns' report," she said, "will convince Government of the region's merits when making decisions regarding the location of a further 1,300 plus jobs to be decentralised in the future."

Before presenting the report to the Minister, Lisa McAllister thanked all those involved in the project including Dr. Pat O'Hara, Dr. Helen McHenry and Pauline White from the WDC who researched the report. She also acknowledged the co-operation received by the WDC from the regional and local authorities and the staff at Knock Airport who hosted the launch. The 'Jobs For Towns' report is available on the WDC's web site www.wdc.ie








| Maps | About WOT | Latest News | Archive | History | Links |
| Photo Gallery| Burma Road Gallery 1981|
| Inspection of the Western Rail Corridor
Visit Our YouTube Channel
WOT facebook

Further Information Email rail @ westontrack.com

Website sponsored by Mayo Ireland Ltd

Visit the Mayo Ireland website for up to date information on County Mayo.