Building work recommences at Shannon Free Zone following the easing of restrictions


Building work on a major 148,000 sq ft development at Blocks K & L at the 300-acre Shannon Free Zone, County Clare has resumed following guidelines for Ireland’s phase 1 easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Following a seven-week absence of construction due to COVID-19, Limerick construction firm, Conack Construction Ltd who won the contract to build Blocks K & L in August last year are now back on site with strict health and safety protocols are in place at the site to protect workers.

The new 148,000 sq ft development located on a 12-acre site in the Shannon Free Zone will comprise a 34,000 sq ft advanced technology manufacturing unit, 60,000 sq ft, and 54,000 sq ft of flexible industrial/warehousing space.

Gerry Dillon, Managing Director, Shannon Commercial Properties welcomed the commencement of work at the site saying it is “great to see the green shoots” as the construction sector returns to work “in a way that protects the health and safety of employees”.

Since its inception in 2014, Mr Dillon says a Shannon Group key priority “has been the regeneration of our property in the Shannon Free Zone”, he noted the group was “delighted” to secure planning permission to begin the next phase of its masterplan.

He said, “and last year we were delighted to have secured planning permission to begin the next phase of our masterplan for the development of the 300-acre Zone. With Conack employees back on the site, we are back on track to complete the project by this October.

“This new development is part of our overall strategy to grow our property portfolio at the Shannon Free Zone, to service existing companies and attract new companies to the region in the future.”

Commenting on the new COVID-19 measures it has put in place at the site for its employees, Tom O’Connor, Joint Managing Director, Conack Construction Ltd said; “The safety of our employees is our primary concern and we have been preparing for their safe return to work for some time. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has produced a world-class set of safety procedures so we can operate safely during the pandemic, and we have been preparing the site in consultation with employees.

“Social distancing, hand hygiene and staggered shifts are all part of this. As an added precaution we have put in place a thermal pod with facial and thermal recognition software to ensure that all staff onsite are compliant with the new CIF standard operating procedures. The thermal recognition ensures that if an employee shows a high temperature, they will be asked to come back and repeat the test in ten minutes, only if they pass within normal stands will they be admitted access to the site. If the employee fails the test a second time, they will be directed to a special COVID-19 team member who will advise them further.”

Other works within the Zone have also recommenced which include a new retail and café development, landscaping and infrastructure upgrade projects. Since 2015, Shannon Group has delivered almost 900,000 sq ft of new or refurbished office, industrial units and aircraft hangar facilities.

Further information on Block’s K & L are available here