THE first phase of the €23 million Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme which will facilitate industrial development and job creation in Kilkenny and South East was officially opened last Friday by Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D, IDA Ireland Chief Executive Officer, Barry O’Leary and Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Paul Cuddihy.
The new water scheme will service 240 hectares of industrial land around Belview Industrial Park near Belview Deepwater Port, and allow for the building of 10,000 additional houses in South Kilkenny and Waterford between now and 2031.
The Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme is of major economic benefit to South Kilkenny. As well as alleviating pressure on the domestic water supply which resulted in shortages in recent years, it will allow for the development of industry in Belview Industrial Park, providing much needed employment in the region. The scheme is an important strand of the Invest Kilkenny initiative, launched by the Kilkenny local authorities in 2010 to promote the area as an ideal location for business.
The total investment for this phase of the scheme is €13 million of which €11 million was provided by the IDA and €2 million by Kilkenny County Council and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. When all phases are complete, it will represent a total spend of €23 million.
The Belview Strategic Water Supply Scheme now provides 3,300 cubic metres or 725,000 gallons of water per day, primarily for industrial and enterprise use and also for the people and community of South Kilkenny.
When all phases are completed, 15,000 cubic metres or 3.3 million gallons of water a day will be available, of which 9,000m³ or 2 million gallons will be available for industrial use.
The water supply infrastructure is matched by a wastewater treatment plant provided at a cost of €37 million by Waterford City, with capacity of 190,000 population equivalent. The IDA has also supported this work.
IDA Ireland is currently developing a strategic industrial site at Belview, which is now all the more attractive due to the reliable supply of water. The site is ideal for major water user industries such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences and food.
Belview is situated in the Kilknny parish of slieverue and is just four miles from Waterford City and 37 miles from Kilkenny city and incorporates 265 hectacres of zoned land, including the IDA land bank, the Marine Point Business Park and Belview Port.
Belview Port is the nearest deep water Irish port to mainland Europe. Two thirds of the Irish domestic market lies within a 160km radius of Belview, with direct access to the national rail network. The surrounding industrial area boasts substantial warehousing.
Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, said he was delighted to be open this facility. “The need to develop a water supply to facilitate the development of the port area was recognised in the Belview Area Action plan, and the opening of this Water Supply Scheme will facilitate the development of water-intensive industries in the Belview Industrial Park, which is ideally located as a gateway to the greater Kilkenny/ Waterford region”, said the Minister.
“This water supply scheme will not only benefit the industrial needs of the area, as it also has the added advantage of alleviating pressure on householders in the area who have suffered from water shortages over the past few years. This is the first phase in a major water supply initiative that will service customers in Mooncoin, Mullinavat, Kilmacow, Ferrybank, Slieverue and the surrounding areas, and provide for development potential up to 2031.
“The programme of reforms I have planned for the delivery of water services will mean that Ireland, which is rich in water resources, can continue to exploit this natural advantage to attract foreign direct investment and high end employment, and meet the demands of our existing businesses and communities for high quality water and security of supply.”
Kilkenny County Council Chairman, Cllr Paul Cuddihy said that Belview has huge capacities of water available for industry and enterprise and if any company in Ireland, Europe or beyond is looking for water for industrial development, Kilkenny has plenty to spare.
Kilkenny City and County Manager, Joe Crockett, said the water and wastewater infrastructure combined with port and rail services, the IDA Strategic Landbank, and other serviced and zoned lands make Belview a superb business opportunity. This is a major strategic economic asset not just for Kilkenny, Waterford and the South East Region, but for the country as a whole at a time when attracting jobs is so important,” said Mr Crockett.
Mr Crockett said the Belview Water Supply is an important development under the Invest Kilkenny programme, launched in 2010 to promote the area on its fast global access, high calibre workforce, and a great quality of life with a city steeped in a rich culture and heritage.
With the opening of the M9 motorway, Kilkenny is only 70 minutes from Dublin Airport, and 30 minutes from Waterford with its regional airport and the Belview development zone, including Belview Port.
A Business Support Unit was established to market the Invest Kilkenny initiative and a website www.investkilkenny.ie launched which features interviews with successful businesses operating in the area and includes a property finder, key demographic data and reasons why Kilkenny is a great place to live and work.