PLANS for a new sugar factory on the outskirts of Carlow town are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, reviving the much-lamented sugar industry across the region.
The proposed location is understood to be at Prumplestown on the Carlow/Kildare border. It’s a 200-acre site which will allow for the construction of a modern factory with associated infrastructure and auxiliary industries.
When contacted by The Nationalist, deputy Pat Deering confirmed that negotiations for the new sugar factory, spearheaded by Beet Ireland, were at an advanced stage and looking positive.
“I think it’s not only positive for our own area but for the country in general. For a long time, we have been looking for a new industry for Carlow and I think looking to our own indigenous industry is the best we have,” he said.
The new sugar factory is expected to be based on a co-op-type structure with direct input from local farmers and growers. Significant negotiations with the government, the EU, farmers and interested parties have been undertaken by Beet Ireland since 2008. A significant breakthrough came in June 2013 when the EU allowed Ireland concessions under the common agricultural policy (CAP), paving the way for a revival of the Irish sugar industry in 2017.
The closure of Carlow Sugar Factory in 2006 had devastating consequences for employees, local growers and the Carlow economy. The blow was particularly significant given the widespread belief that the Irish sugar industry was still viable and the factory’s closure simply shouldn’t have happened.