Considerable business opportunities have been made in Portarlington following the purchase of a site in the town.
Laois County Council have purchased six acres of the site of the former Avon factory in the heart of the town.
The Avon Arlington factory in Portarlington opened in the late 1970s and formally closed in April, 2000.
Cancer-causing chemicals were found at the site in 2020, 20 years after the factory shut its doors.
Work took place to clear this up with the Environmental Protection Agency previously saying that these are stable and shrinking.
And crucially, there was no threat to the drinking water supply in the nearby estates and residences.
After that, the EPA will monitor things until 2025 to make sure it is safe.
Sinn Fein Councillor Aidan Mullins says that the 6-acre site which the Council has purchased costs €500,000 and the purchase will ‘greatly assist with the economic development of the town’.
He said: “Last year I met with the Chief Executive of Laois County Council, John Mulholland, to discuss the shortage of serviced industrial sites for new businesses in Portarlington.
“There are currently no available serviced sites in the Business Park on Canal Road.
“We visited the former Avon site in the town, which is now vacant, with a view to exploring the possibility of the Council purchasing all or part of the site.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is currently working on the decontamination of a 2 acre section of the site which should be completed in a few years.
“The announcement today that the Council has agreed to purchase a separate 6 acre section of the former Avon site for €500,000 is brilliant news for Portarlington and will greatly assist with the economic development of the town.
“The Council will seek funding from the EU Just Transition Fund to enable them to service the site i.e. provide internal access roads / footpaths, public lighting, power, water and sewage services, to provide ready-to-go fully serviced sites for prospective business opportunities.
“I congratulate John Mulholland and his staff for their foresight in acknowledging the potential of the site and in securing its purchase.
“John was committed to the project from the beginning and I commend his efforts over the past year in negotiating the deal.
“I look forward to seeing the site’s development and the growth of commercial and business opportunities including job creation on the Canal Road.”