Dáil Éireann - Volume 646 - 12 February, 2008

Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made in respect of the decentralisation of the Health and Safety Authority to Thomastown, County Kilkenny; if a site has been purchased; when it is expected construction work will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4517/08]

  Deputy Billy Kelleher: The Health and Safety Authority is to move 110 posts to Thomastown, Co Kilkenny as part of the decentralisation programme. To date a total of 65 civil and public servants have expressed an interest through the Central Application Facility (CAF) process in transferring to Thomastown. In anticipation of the move to Thomastown, the Authority has established an interim office in Kilkenny city and to date 27 staff have decentralised to that office awaiting transfer to Thomastown when the new premises there are completed.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has signed a contract for sale in respect of a site in Thomastown. When the purchase is completed, expressions of interest for the design and build phase will be invited from interested parties. It will be a matter for the successful tenderer to apply for planning permission at that stage. The current estimated timeline in regard to moving [988] staff into the new premises is 2009/2010. However, this is dependent on planning permission and the building time.