New resort promises 1,000 jobs
The 1,000 permanent jobs promised by Center Parcs could shave about 5pc off the current dole queues in the Midland region, which includes counties Longford, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.
The new €200m resort on 375 acres of forest at Newcastle Wood, 5km from Ballymahon, is expected to open in 2019.
Another 750 construction jobs will be created to get the site ready and build the resort. Once open it will be the first of its kind in Ireland and have capacity for up to 2,500 guests.
Center Parcs said the Longford resort, which is being built on Coillte forestry and will go through the planning system, will include up to 500 lodges catering for families.
In terms of jobs per head of population, the employment boost for Longford is the equivalent of about 32,500 new jobs for Dublin.
The Midland region has the highest unemployment rate of any region in the State, at 13.1pc.