MDA Overview

1982 - During the recession of the 80’s a group of local people came together with a view to identifying and providing the conditions for job creation in Mountmellick. During this recession Mountmellick was severely hit by unemployment and emigration. This voluntary group embarked on a fund raising drive which became the seed capital for all future developments. This initiative spear headed by local people was copied and replicated in many parts of the country during the 80’s and 90’s.

1989 – By 1989 the Group had raised sufficient funds which allowed the purchase of Codds Mill on four acres from the Odlums Group.  This derelict mill on the outskirts of Mountmellick would become the hub of the MDA and over the years be one of the most successful business parks in the midlands.  With grant aid of £100,000 from the IDA, the MDA started the conversion of the Old Mill and established partnerships with a number of other state agencies including the ESB, and ANCO (now Solas). Through these partnerships the MDA was able to access finance, management staff and trainees to work on the redevelopment of the Mill building.

1992 – President Mary Robinson officially opened Mountmellick Business Park.

1997 – Mountmellick Youth Development Centre (MYDC) is set up to work with the youth of Mountmellick. This flag ship project continues to develop young people to their full potential.

1999 -. By the late 90’s with the existing buildings fully occupied an additional Industrial Unit was built increasing the industrial space to 34,150 square feet. This additional space brought significantly more jobs to the business park and to Mountmellick.

2003 – Along with providing the conditions for job creation the Board of the MDA was anxious to help preserve the heritage of Mountmellick.  As the birth place of Mountmellick Work (Embroidery) the Board built a Museum & Conference Centre to house a collection of this world famous embroidery. This Museum is host to hundreds of visitors each year from all over the world. While viewing this magnificent work many avail of the opportunity to learn how to produce Mountmellick Work from our Master Practitioners. Along with housing the Mountmellick Work the Museum hosts exhibitions such as the Exhibition of Quaker Tapestries and World War 1 artifacts to name just a few.

2004 – In partnership with the HSE and the Department of Justice the MDA built the Community Childcare Centre known as SONAS. Over the years the number of families availing of the excellent service provided by SONAS and it’s team has grown to full capacity.

2007 - Although the Celtic Tiger was coming to an end the need for more industrial and office space necessitated the building of another industrial unit on the campus. The occupancy of this unit has added to the number of people employed in the MDA Business Park.

2014 – Ever mindful of the changing requirements of the market and conscious of the difficulty that start up businesses had in gaining finance from the lending institutions the MDA built 5 state of the art commercial kitchens which can be rented out to start up and expanding food businesses. With a huge expansion in the food industry these commercial kitchens are exactly what are needed for food entrepreneurs. The development of these commercial kitchens has generated a further 5000 sq feet of industrial/office space for future expansion.

The MDA has developed a pro-active strategy to attracting tenants to the Business Park and to developing an integrated campus approach which has led to the creation of the greatest number of new jobs created in Co. Laois.  With a restaurant, child care facility, hot desks, internet café, management services and free parking the MDA has created the ideal business park for the creation and retention of jobs in County Laois.

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