Leitrim County Council’s Carrick Business Campus aims to capitalise on the large pool of financial services talent in the region with innovative step-up transition spaces for expanding enterprises.
A €3m investment is planned to re-develop a business campus for the north-west at the iconic 112,000 sq ft former MBNA offices in Carrick-On-Shannon, which employed 1,200 people at its height.
More than 22,000 sq ft of the building is being redeveloped into Grade A co-working office accommodation for companies with more than 10 employees, as well as a flexible landing space for new FDI (foreign direct investment) clients or businesses seeking a second base.
“This building is such a friendly place to work. It has beautiful facilities, high-end security, which is so important, it’s clean, has great Wi-Fi and the team love that it is within walking distance to great cafes for lunch”
The Campus is home to 200 Avant Money employees, who occupy a quarter of the 20-year-old building and provide financial services to clients throughout Ireland.
An FDI and fintech magnet
Leitrim County Council is confident that the available local skill base will lead to a cluster of similar companies in the turnkey fully-serviced campus.
“We recognised that there was a pressing need in the north-west for ready-made spaces for the next growth stage after start-up,” said Lar Power, chief executive Leitrim County Council.
“Growth stage businesses often struggle to find suitable accommodation thus hampering their ability to expand and reach their full potential.
“We have brought five office spaces ranging in size from 1,500 to 2,700 sq ft spaces to the market, for immediate rent, the first two of which were occupied straight away.
“These spaces are specifically designed for companies with more than ten employees, giving them the room to grow and the security of knowing that the campus can accommodate all stages of their growth journey.
“This high-quality building had been vastly underutilised but the developments to date, in conjunction with the plans for future development, will act as an economic development generator for Leitrim and the north-west region as a whole, both of which are strategically important to us.
The overall €9m investment in this building is supported by Rural Regeneration Development Funding, and is a new departure for Leitrim County Council, who describe it as a significant investment in the future of the area.
The new business campus for the north-west will be a gamechanger for the region according to the first two companies to join Avant Money at the iconic premises.
Former MBNA employee Margaret O’Rourke Doherty runs Image Skillnet, a dedicated national network for supporting the Irish beauty and hair sector with subsidised, tailored training.
The business is currently recruiting its ninth employee and had outgrown its start-up base in Drumshanbo.
“We had been looking for months to find anything in the post-start up space. and anything that was available would have involved a large capital investment,” said O’Rourke Doherty.
“This building is such a friendly place to work. It has beautiful facilities, high-end security, which is so important, it’s clean, has great Wi-Fi and the team love that it is within walking distance to great cafes for lunch.”
Payac is a managed services company that supports credit unions in offering a wide range of daily banking services.
“The double drawing points for us were the financial services talent pool in the area and the building itself,” said CEO Seamus Newcombe.
Award-winning consumer finance company Avant Money occupies a quarter of the 112,000 square-foot Carrick-on-Shannon site.
“The building is a huge attraction, and the location and space is excellent and lends to a very productive working environment which, alongside our Dublin office, supports the continued growth of our business,” said CEO Niall Corbett.
Main image at top: Former MBNA employee Margaret O’Rourke Doherty who runs Image Skillnet