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  • News

Tuam's €2 million Business Park built without a loan

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011 10:11am

By TOM GILMORE

THE green shoots of industry are beginning to show again according to those involved in the Action Tuam organisation. They are encouraging entrepreneurs to consider locating at the €2 million Beech Tree Business Park, which is now ready for occupation at Weir Road.

Due to their careful investment of funds, accumulated since the Action Tuam group was set up in 1990, the organisation was able to build this modern facility, which has four 3,000 sq feet industrial units, as well as 11,000 sq feet of office or services space, without having to borrow any money.

"To be able to build this facility without a loan is a big achievement. It means that as we are not servicing a bank loan we can pass on the benefits of cheaper rental rates to entrepreneurs locating here," says Jarlath Canney, Treasurer of Action Tuam.

"Our emphasis is on creating jobs and the rental rates that we can offer are negotiable as well as being much lower that what people would have to pay in the major cities," he added.

Jarlath says that already they have one tenant who has taken a unit in the new business park, with two others interested in locating there.

"What we are seeking are people with business ideas that display potential for success. We have got good support from the Galway County and City Enterprise Board, which encourages enterprises employing from one to ten. Support has also come from Enterprise Ireland, which promotes projects employing ten or more people," says Jarlath. The latter organisation also assisted with grant aid for the construction of the facility.

Indeed the project manager for the Beech Tree Business Park is a former executive with Enterprise Ireland in the West, Ray O'Connor.

"The new facility has the potential to accommodate up to 60 jobs and all the construction work was finished to the highest standard by John Moran Plant Hire and Construction. Already we have got a lot of praise regarding how well finished the facility is," says Ray.

He has plenty of experience of helping budding entrepreneurs from his days with Enterprise Ireland. One of those that he helped establish in Tuam during that time was John Concannon, of JFC Plastics, who now employs approximately 150 in a number of plants in Tuam, the UK and in Poland.

Jarlath Canney also says that apart from the new facility looking attractive from the outside, it is fully fitted out inside, with all the modern requirements needed by entrepreneurs in today's competitive business market.

It has a hot-desk reception area with four bays for a receptionist to attend to the calls for a number of companies. It also has a large presentation room with interactive white board for presentations by entrepreneurs to potential customers.

"Apart from it having the most modern facilities inside, and externally, we also have planning permission for further expansion in one area of the park, if some entrepreneur needs another larger unit," says Jarlath.

Apart from encouraging entrepreneurs with ideas for industry to locate there, the Action Tuam group also hope to attract people looking for office space, or for those in the areas of arts and craft, to consider the possibility of having a base at the new facility.

The provision of this modern facility for use by the business people and industrialists of today is a far cry from what Action Tuam had when the organisation started out, in an attempt to create jobs at the former textile factory, also on the Weir Road, in 1990 a few years after the closure of Tuam Sugar Factory three years earlier.

"At that time we started out with little more than four walls and a roof but now we have a state-of-the-art facility, which everybody is proud of," says Jarlath.

The Action Tuam group grew from those small beginnings in the early 1990s and it eventually converted the entire old textile factory into industrial units. By 2002 they had sold all the units to clients who initially started out as rental tenants of the organisation.

This money was wisely invested and it enabled Action Tuam to purchase the current site and build the modern Beech Tree Business Park there.

The current Chairman of Action Tuam is businessman John Fahy of the Eventus company, which is internationally known for providing marquees and allied facilities for many major events.

"The main aim of the organisation is job creation and that is why this new business park is finished to such exacting standards, with the most modern of facilities including internet connections, broadband, scanners, computers etc.

"If we want the top entrepreneurs to locate in Tuam we have to offer them facilities that are comparable to any of the major cities, but which are more competitive, and we are delighted that Beech Tree Business Park meets that criteria.

"Hopefully, now that we are open for business, many entrepreneurs will locate here and create more jobs for the Tuam area," he concluded.

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