News Archive

Ireland West Airport Knock announces joint initiative with Shannon Development aiming to create over 300 jobs for the West of Ireland

Ireland West Airport Knock is pleased to announce the start of a Government led feasibility study into the establishment of an Enterprise Park at the airport aimed at initially creating 300 jobs.  The study will be conducted by Shannon Development at the request of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD, and the findings will be submitted to the Minister in September of this year.

The study will investigate opportunities for job creation from areas such as spin offs from aviation business, tourism, marine, energy, food, and the life sciences and will establish how best the Government can support the development of business and employment as a result of the study.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD, said 'Ireland West Airport Knock is a business that was built in recession and, with the help of sustained Government support and investment, now flies over 600,000 passengers to 25 European destinations, employs 115 people and contributes €62 million in annual tourism spend in the region.  The joint feasibility study will investigate opportunities for job creation from areas such as spin-offs from the aviation, tourism, marine, energy, food and life science sector. It will establish how best the Government, subject to budgetary commitments, can support the development of business and employment as a result of the study. This is a very timely initiative to seize on the enterprise opportunities presented in the west of Ireland by changing trends in manufacturing and internationally traded services.’

Speaking on the announcement Liam Scollan, Chairman, Ireland West Airport Knock said ‘At the centre of this initiative will be entrepreneurs who want to partner with the airport in identifying business opportunities and it is our intention that this study will result in a greater focus on what these opportunities are, who the people are who can make it happen and how best the Government can assist. The airport has always stood for self help and there is no better time than now to create opportunities for much needed employment at home around an airport that has growing connectivity to markets abroad.’

John Brassil, Chairman, Shannon Development said ‘We are delighted to respond to the Minister’s request to carry out this work with Ireland West Airport Knock. We will be deploying executives drawn from our industry business parks, tourism, communications and other sectors. There is a wonderful opportunity here to help create a counter pole of development right along the west of Ireland which can only serve to strengthen the country as a whole.’

Joe Gilmore, CEO, Ireland West Airport Knock added ‘Shannon Development has real expertise in developing business parks and attracting jobs and has been at the forefront in creating initiatives like the Kerry Technology Park in Tralee which employees 300 people and overall it has attracted thousands of jobs in Limerick and Shannon over the years. It is great to see this expertise being shared for the benefit of the entire west of Ireland.’

A Steering Group will oversee the feasibility work over the next three months and is comprised of Joe Gilmore, CEO, Ireland West Airport Knock, Fergal Broder, CEO, Lotus Works Ireland Ltd in Sligo, Vincent Cunnane, CEO Shannon Development and John King, Assistant CEO at Shannon Development. Once the Feasibility Study findings are approved by the respective Boards of Shannon Development and Ireland West Airport it will be submitted to government for consideration.