The people of Claremorris in Mayo are happy today with news that a shopping centre in their town is set to be benefit from NAMA funding. The Silverbridge Shopping Centre is anchored by Tesco with a 50,000 sq ft store, and NAMA is reported to be funding clean-up works on the site including landscaping and laying new footpaths. Mayo is of course An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency.
The amount of funding from NAMA is not known but it looks modest. It may create a disproportionately large number of winners though – local firm Conway Builders and their employees will benefit from the work and when it is complete, the local economy will further benefit from the clean-up. The work will “send the message that Claremorris is open for business” says the local Chamber of Commerce. Presumably NAMA’s investment will also enhance the value of the shopping centre and related developments, thereby increasing the chances of NAMA getting more of its loans repaid. Win-win-win.
The local business people have some good words for NAMA – “welcoming the news, Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Flynn, who put the proposal to NAMA in April, thanked the agency for moving so swiftly: “NAMA were positive from the start and when they wrote to us in June, they were already working on the detail with Conways Builders. This is very good news for the commercial fabric of Claremorris”, he said.”
NAMA announced in May 2012 that it would be investing €2bn in the next four years in completing developments in Ireland. The NAMA Act allows NAMA to borrow up to €5bn for such works.