Industrial development and the locational requirements of industrial developments has changed considerably in the last number of decades.
Industrial estates of old are more likely to now act as office parks rather than accommodate heavier manufacturing. New types of industrial development ranging from data centres or whiskey maturation plants have also emerged in the Irish industrial landscape, which have a requirement for very large sites that do not conveniently fit into urban areas zoned for industrial use.
Long-established industrial areas originally developed in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, have seen a proliferation of non-industrial uses ranging from retail to office-type developments. Such areas are increasingly being identified for redevelopment or regeneration, making them less likely and suitable to accommodate new industrial facilities.
Modern industry is more likely to be based around clean rooms or clean-tech, and not particularly suited to more long-established industrial areas. While such industries may be manufacturing-based, the high-quality, clean and well-maintained settings for these facilities are much sought after. So are the services and other infrastructure that certain types of industry depend on, whether that be electricity, gas, fibre or transport infrastructure, proximity to which can be key factors in initial site identification, selection and justification.