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  • Northside West

Decathlon is racing to Ballymun

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Decathlon is racing to Ballymun

Decathlon is a major name is sports equipment.

Decathlon is racing to Ballymun

Decathlon is a major name is sports equipment.

FRENCH sports retailer Decathlon is set to open its first Irish store in Ballymun after the sale of land next to Ikea was given the green light by local councillors.

The family-owned company, recently voted France’s best-loved brand, has 1,350 stores across more than 40 countries and is believed to be planning a number of outlets across Ireland.

Last week, a Dublin City Council proposal to dispose of lands at St Margaret’s Road to Decathlon Sports Ireland was approved by local councillors.

The council has actively been looking to dispose of the land since 2012 when property agent Lisney was appointed to engage in a tendering process.

Negotiations with the successful tenderer failed to reach a successful conclusion but the new €4,35m deal with Decathlon is set to go ahead.

Decathlon has already struck a deal with Ikea for a right-of-way over the Swedish company’s access road to facilitate access to the site.

A planning application for the scheme is expected to be lodged before the summer.

Decathlon’s stores are warehouse style outlets, similar to large DIY branches but stocked with major sports brand equipment and clothing.

The Ballymun store could generate up to 100 jobs for the area and local politicians including Dublin North West TD Noel Rock (FG) have welcomed the news.

“This is yet another vote of confidence in the local economy, in local jobs and in the future of Ballymun,” Deputy Rock said.

“Decathlon could provide up to 100 jobs, and I have contacted them to ensure that the idea of employing locally is on their agenda from the outset.

“I would also expect Dublin City Council to set this as a criteria for the development.

“While this type of large retail shop isn’t necessarily suited to Ballymun Shopping Centre, the €4.5m recouped from this sale absolutely must be ring fenced for the Ballymun area, for the development of local infrastructure and for vital local amenities which councillors all too often say we don’t have the funding for.”

Fianna Fáil councillor for Glasnevin and Ballymun, Cllr Paul McAuliffe, said that the investment in Dublin North West was to be broadly welcomed but added that it exposes the need to develop the vacant Ballymun Shopping Centre. 

“This kind of ‘big box’ retail has every potential to deliver more local jobs for people in our community and any size investment in the Ballymun area is to be supported,” he said.

 “I am concerned however, that more is not being done by the City Council to attract investment to the old shopping centre site which is due to be demolished in October and rebuilt with new retail facilities. 

“It’s somewhat difficult for the people of Ballymun to welcome good news like this on one hand when a derelict shopping centre in a prime location in the heart of our village remains idle. 

“If the council can secure investment of this scale from overseas then it can certainly aim to provide decent shopping facilities for residents in the Ballymun area.”

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (IND) also welcomed the decision by councillors to dispose of land to Decathlon.

“It goes without saying that an investment like this into Ballymun has to be welcomed,” she said.

“Ballymun is a prime location as we are so close to the airport, the M50 and have a huge amount of land ready for business.

“I have requested that Decathlon engage with the Ballymun Jobs Centre as soon as possible to establish how the local area can best benefit from this increased employment and investment.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here