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Killarney’s Pretty Polly factory among a number of sites to be progressed this year

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THE former Pretty Polly site in Killarney is one of a number of buildings and facilities earmarked to be progressed further in 2017, Kerry County Council CEO Moira Murrell has confirmed.

Strong growth in the county last year gives reason for optimism in 2017, according to a stakeholder group in Kerry, which added that cross-agency collaboration is key to winning investment in the county.

The group is united in its view of 2016 as an extremely progressive year for the county in terms of growth and investment and says that building on that success in 2017 can yield further substantial progress. The group, comprising representatives from Kerry County Council, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, IT Tralee and Kerry Local Enterprise Office (LEO), said a number of successful initiatives during 2016 have combined to give reason for optimism around investment for 2017.

The chief executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, agrees that 2016 has seen major progress on economic development in the county including, in the council’s case, supports and investments such as a €60m investment in capital projects, a €30m upgrade of the county’s largest water supply scheme, the establishment of enterprise hubs in many rural towns and quality of life improvements through investment in leisure facilities and amenities.

“The former Denny factory site and the former Pretty Polly site in Killarney will be progressed further in 2017 and millions of euro will be invested in rural areas through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and Clár funding,” said Ms Murrell.

This year will also see the Kerry Technology Park coming into full Kerry ownership, she added. “As a centre for education, innovation and incubation, it is key to our economic expansion as a county,” said the council CEO.

Ms Murrell added: “Tourism continues to grow and our new Tourism Strategy will drive that growth across Kerry. In Killarney, for example, through working with groups like the Kerry Convention Bureau, the aim in 2017 is to continue that growth and bring more visitors to the county.”

Many companies in Kerry are expanding which is indicative of confidence in the local economy, according to Ms Murrell. “The council now has a dedicated Economic Development Unit and a newly appointed Economic Development Officer and this will drive the implementation of the new jobs and enterprise plan for the county,” she added.

IDA Ireland’s Regional Business and Development Manager for the South-West, Ray O’Connor, said employment across the base of IDA companies in Kerry continues to rise with positive employment growth each year over the past five years. Supporting established companies to develop and grow is a key focus for IDA and he’s optimistic that 2017 will see project expansions.

“We have 13 client companies in Kerry, employing 2,083 employees. These are great companies, include some of the longest-established companies in Ireland and they are representative of all of our target sectors: engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, international financial services, technology and business services,” he said. “New investment in the last year came from Starwood Hotels & Resorts who opened a new Customer Services Centre in Sneem/Kenmare with 14 hired to date, JRI America who expanded into larger offices at Kerry Technology Park in Tralee and VT iDirect who announced 30 jobs in Killarney as part of a new Engineering & Innovation Centre.

“Our new Advance Technology Building, due to be completed by mid year 2017 is proof of IDA’s commitment to Kerry, creating a state-of-the-art 25,000sq ft turn-key property solution to attract new investment and IDA is committed to supporting additional IDA client companies investments in 2017 and beyond.”

Tomás Hayes, Head of Local Enterprise with Kerry LEO reports that 24 projects were approved for grant assistance in 2016 with the potential to generate 87 full-time and 19 part-time positions.

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Additional Flat fixture for Killarney Races next week

Horse Racing Ireland has announced there will be an additional Flat Meeting at Killarney next Monday (October 10). This meeting will close for entries by 12 noon this Wednesday (October […]

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Horse Racing Ireland has announced there will be an additional Flat Meeting at Killarney next Monday (October 10).

This meeting will close for entries by 12 noon this Wednesday (October 5) with declarations to run to be made by 10am this Saturday (October 8).

The race programme details for this fixture are on the HRI RAS website www.hri.ie.

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Lee Strand awarded Gold in Sustainability Programme

Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards. Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink […]

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Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards.

Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme led by Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board. Gold Membership is awarded to companies who demonstrate an exceptional annual performance on their sustainability targets.

“We are delighted Lee Strand is recognised once again with the prestigious Origin Green Gold Membership for our commitment to sustainability,” Gearoid Linnane, CEO said.

“In Lee Strand environmental management and sustainability are key elements of our business model, from launching 100% renewable cartons, to reducing water usage and energy efficiency. This is a great achievement by our sustainability team who are continually striving for higher levels of environmental excellence. We would also like to thank Veronica Kennelly from the Munster Technological University who assisted Lee Strand in the development of our Origin Green plan.”

Origin Green continues to evolve to ensure Bord Bia is helping Irish food and drink companies to remain up to date with the evolving needs of trade customers and their consumers, globally. With the introduction of the Origin Green credits system in early 2022, it is now easier to identify members who are performing at a high level or excelling in their sustainability performance.

To retain ongoing membership of Origin Green, companies must subsequently submit an annual review to demonstrate clear progress against the established targets and initiatives set. This annual review is subject to an independent third-party review by their verification authority Mabbett. This ensures minimum programme requirements are consistently met and maintained. Companies receive credits for their performance in areas such as raw material sourcing; water and energy efficiency; waste reduction; packaging; and social sustainability. Origin Green has established five different membership tiers based on company size and turnover, so that a real diversity of industry is reflected in the overall Gold Membership.

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