Former MBNA offices in Carrick-on-Shannon reopen as €9m office complex

Leitrim County Council seeks to attract 700 jobs to Carrick Business Park after demise of call centre employing 1,200

A €9 million office project at the former MBNA facility in Carrick-on-Shannon, which employed 1,200 people at its height, has been unveiled by Leitrim County Council.

The local authority is hopeful that within five years 700 people will be employed at the Carrick Business Park. It is targeting businesses in the “post start-up” phase while hoping that the turnkey office accommodation will also be attractive to larger companies seeking a second base.

The 10,405sq m (112,000sq ft) premises just off the main N4 Dublin-Sligo road has been just 25 per cent occupied in recent years, with 200 Avant Money staff who provide financial services to clients throughout the country located there.

MBNA closed its call centre in 2014. Last December, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys awarded the county council funding of €7.2 million to help finance the purchase and refurbishment of the building.


Since then, more than 2,043sq m (22,000sq ft) has been redeveloped into “state of the art” co-working office accommodation where it is expected five businesses will be based in phase one of the project. Already two companies have moved in – Payac, which provides financial services to the credit union sector, and Image Skillnet, which provides tailored training to the hair and beauty sector.

Its network manager Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, who previously worked for MBNA in the building, said she never expected to be back there in a different role.

With Image Skillnet recruiting its ninth employee, she explained that it had outgrown its old offices. “We had been looking for some time for suitable accommodation, without the need to put in massive capital investment,” said O’Rourke Doherty.

Leitrim County Council is targeting companies with 10 or more employees and says the campus will provide a flexible landing space for new FDI clients or companies seeking a second base.

“We recognised that there was a pressing need in the northwest for ready-made spaces for the next growth stage after start-up,” said chief executive Lar Power.

“Growth-stage businesses often struggle to find suitable accommodation, thus hampering their ability to expand and reach their full potential,” he added.

Mr Power said that already five office spaces ranging in size from 139sq m to 250sq m (1,500sq ft to 2,700sq ft) had been brought to the market, for immediate rent, with the first two occupied straight away.

“This high-quality building had been vastly underutilised, but the developments to date, in conjunction with the plans for future development, will act as an economic development generator for Leitrim and the northwest region as a whole, both of which are strategically important to us,” said the council chief executive.

He acknowledged that the €9 million project was a new departure for Leitrim County Council.

Former IDA chief executive and Leitrim native Padraic White, who will attend an open day at the business park on Wednesday, described it as a very significant development for the county.

“It reflects the economic momentum in the county and shows how seriously the county council takes its mandate in terms of generating economic activity. It is a very ambitious undertaking,” said Mr White.

The facilities would be hugely attractive to foreign and evolving indigenous business and it was significant that such a landmark premises would remain in public ownership, he added.