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We Are Changing

Shannon Development is currently in transition to become part of Shannon Group plc. To emphasis a more commercially focused property remit, Shannon Development will soon be renamed Shannon Commercial Enterprises Ltd, trading as Shannon Enterprises.  

 


Shannon Free Zone

During the 1940s, Shannon Airport was a crucial link in world airline traffic with as much as 85% of transatlantic traffic stopping there to refuel. However, the advent of the jet aircraft changed this and also threatened Shannon’s future. The Government’s response to this threat was to turn it into an opportunity by setting out to promote the area for industrial and tourism development. A newly formed regional development agency, Shannon Free Airport Development Company (now know as Shannon Development) was set up to spearhead innovative approaches to make this happen. So, on January 28, 1959, Shannon Development commenced its daunting task. Over fifty years on, the Company is not only looking back at its achievements but is imaginatively planning for the future.

A visit to its renowned product - the Shannon Free Zone - clearly demonstrates this innovativeness. As the world’s first export processing zone, this was a product of the late 1950s and ‘60s. However, through the energies of Shannon Development it has been fitted out with the technologies required for future development in the 21st Century and continues to attract high profile international clients.

Construction of the 300 acre site beside Shannon Airport commenced in 1959 and it was formally inaugurated in 1960. In the first year of operation, and according to its first Annual Report, Shannon Development had made ‘definite arrangements’ with 10 overseas companies to set up at the Zone, one of them being SPS. “These companies would employ approximately 580 people.

The Zone became the trendsetter for Ireland in the early 1960s in a drive to create economic growth. Its leading position can be gauged from the fact that in 1965, for instance, exports of manufactured goods from Shannon accounted for almost one-third of the national total.

Companies setting up were mainly ‘manufacturing, the ‘services’ sector was in its infancy. Production line assembly therefore was the order of the day and the emphasis was on streamlining and efficiency.

Today, the Shannon Free Zone is Ireland's biggest multi-sectoral business park and has Ireland's largest cluster of FDI investment outside of Dublin. It currently facilitates over 100 manufacturing and international service companies employing over 6,500 people. Physically, Shannon Free Zone encompasses 600 acres of land and 4 million sq ft of buildings adjacent to Shannon International Airport less than 3 hours from most major European capitals.

The availability of high quality, flexible, accommodation, in a pleasant parkland environment is an important marketing tool for Shannon Development in its role of attracting overseas companies to the Zone and for promoting the growth of indigenous companies.

Shannon Development is currently in transition to become part of Shannon Group plc. To emphasis a more commercially focused property remit, Shannon Development will soon be renamed Shannon Commercial Enterprises Ltd, trading as Shannon Enterprises. In the interimShannon Development will continue to be the grant approval body for Shannon Free Zone clients until legislation is enacted.