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05 Jul 2022

Jobs boost for the Midlands as Center Parcs Longford Forest planning massive expansion

Center Parcs Longford Forest planning to develop an extra 198 new holiday lodges

Center Parcs Longford Forest planning to develop an extra 198 new holiday lodges

The Midlands is poised for a significant jobs boost courtesy of Center Parcs Longford Forest who have announced their intention to lodge a planning application for an €85m expansion of its forest holiday resort near Ballymahon in July of this year.

The investment will see the creation of 300 jobs during construction and 250 permanent jobs once operational.

The spin off for the local economy will be immense, with the use of local hospitality during construction and opportunities for local suppliers, consultants and contractors.

The plans were unveiled during a Center Parcs Longford Forest Community Forum meeting in Ballymahon.

The first in-person forum for over two years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, was attended by Martin Dalby, the non-Executive Chairman of Center Parcs, who in his previous role as Center Parcs Chief Executive Officer, was responsible for overseeing the building and opening of the €233 million Center Parcs Longford Forest resort in 2019.

Occupancy at Center Parcs Longford Forest is currently more than 90% and of the 1,200 people working in the resort – 66% of hail from county Longford and a further 32% live in the bordering counties.

Center Parcs says that Longford Forest has the best customer satisfaction scores in the business and an increasing number of repeat guests, while Aqua Sana Longford Forest was recently named Irish Tatler’s Spa of the Year 2022.

Covid-19 did delay the expansion plans, with Center Parcs previously hoping to have the plans lodged with Longford County Council by the end of 2021.

The extension will see an extra 198 new holiday lodges developed at the site in Newcastle Woods, including four luxury treehouses, a six-bedroom woodland lodge and a new children’s lodge, the event this week was told.

All of the new lodges will be supplied with heating and hot water via a district heating system.

Also incorporated in the new plans are an extension of leisure and food & beverage facilities to accommodate more guests, a new coffee house and new restaurant, extension of the Subtropical Swimming Paradise and extension of Aqua Sana, including a new Treetop Sauna and additional treatment rooms.

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