A “pharmaceutical center of excellence” could create as many as 4,800 for Kerry, according to reports in the Irish media.
The Department of Enterprise has already confirmed that its Minister, Batt O’Keefe TD, was in senior-level meetings with the interested party to discuss the proposed €4.7 billion investment package.
Pharmadel, based in the County Cork town of Midleton, are believed to be the main backers of the project, which it’s anticipated will be finalized by 2012. The Tralee center, if completed, would offer the exciting prospect of the: "largest single employment placements on the island of Ireland" and the "largest research and development centre in the world".
If the plan were to succeed the population of Tralee, the Kerry town that plays host to the famous Rose of Tralee contest, would increase by a huge 22 percent from its current level.
The plan envisages jobs for 116 leading academic professionals, 321 corporate management executives and 4,380 graduates.
September 3, 2012, is the tentative provisional opening date for the new project, according to the scheme’s website, but that date is "subject to full environmental, planning and legal compliant regulation" which could possibly forestall the project.
The brief statement released from the company said that: "We would like to confirm we are engaged in ongoing negotiations to secure the Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence for Tralee. It is a long and difficult process and it shall be up to three months before we can announce a conclusive outcome."
The company’s director, former Fine Gael politician Alan Dukes told Cork’s Irish Examiner that the project was only at “a very early stage” but did confirm that the site could potentially create up to 4,800 jobs.
Pre-planning meetings have already taken place with Tralee Town Council.
The proposed “center of excellence” has already launched its website at www.gpce.ie which says that the center will work towards “disease prevention” and develop drugs “from molecule to medicine”, among other objects.
Its “campus” is planned to be divided into several departments, and a multidisciplinary team of accountants, solicitors, business development managers, information technology professionals, and graphic and web designers would work with and on behalf of each department.
The company refused comment to several Irish broadsheets yesterday, saying only that it would likely be twelve months before a conclusive announcement would be made.