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Mid West in line for new sites for data centres



DATA centres could be popping up around the Mid West in the near future as a new IDA and Government partnership sets about identifying suitable development sites as part of a new strategic plan.

One of the primary elements of the strategy is to ease the planning process when a site has been identified and the Mid West has been mooted as an ideal location for such a project.

Following the establishment of the ACI Universal Payments EMEA data centre in Limerick last year, Government officials are now trying to allay fears of major delays such as that experienced by the Apple corporation in Athenry recently.

Former IDA Business Development Manager Niall O’Callaghan said that region’s ability to attract foreign direct investment companies was bolstered by access to Shannon Airport and its international route network, including its connections to the US.

Ireland is an attractive location for date centres for a range of reasons, including the cool climate, which reduces running costs for heat-generating computers, its connectivity to the US via transatlantic data cables, and a favourable data-protection regime for tech multinationals.

The plan will see many construction jobs created at these proposed sites while a lesser number of data management jobs will be sustained long term.

A highly educated talent pool emerging from the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College as well as the amount of grade A office space coming on-stream are key elements in the IDA’s efforts to sell the region to foreign investors.

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