THE Irish government has approved further funding to support an ambitious development plan for Ireland West Airport Knock in Co. Mayo.
The additional funding will allow Mayo County Council to advance its plans for an Ireland West Airport Knock Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).
Some €200,000 in annual funding has been approved for two years to cover the dedicated project management, and subsequent engagement of external expertise, to prepare a detailed roadmap for the development of the SDZ.
Announcing the funding, Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said: “This allocation of Government funding to Mayo County Council is an important further step in the development of the Strategic Development Zone at Ireland West Airport Knock.
“It also reaffirms the Government’s commitment to realising the potential of the SDZ, which can make a significant contribution to the economic development of Mayo, the Western region, and Atlantic Economic Corridor.”
He added: “The Government has prioritised balanced regional development and the Knock SDZ is a big part of that with the potential to significantly drive regional economic development.
“We have more people living and working in rural Ireland than ever before and we will continue to ensure that people can avail of good job opportunities in the communities in which they want to live.”
Mayo Council is expected to provide a “roadmap” for its SDZ project and share the recommendations of its Steering Group in the coming months.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, said of this week’s funding announcement: “This is great news and I strongly support this new round of funding.
“I will be closely following the progress over the next two-years so we can get the absolute most for the West out of the strategic zone.”
The SDZ at Knock Airport was first approved in May 2017, with it deemed to have the potential to “significantly enhance the airport’s role as a driver of regional economic development”.
When complete, the area is expected to include commercial activities as well as hotel and conference facilities.
The proposed development has potential to create up to 6,000 jobs in and around Knock Airport.