...Making It Happen

Kildare County Council appoints Contractor to commence development of the Athy Food, Drinks and Agritech Hub

athy hub

Kildare County Council appoints Contractor to commence development of the Athy Food, Drinks and Agritech Hub



Following a competitive public procurement process, Kildare County Council has appointed JS Dooley Contracting Ltd to develop County Kildare’s Food, Drinks and Agritech Hub at the former Model School in Athy. The project will commence on May 13th with its completion anticipated by Q3, 2025.

The hub, when complete, will be home to County Kildare’s growing food and drink sector and will support entrepreneurs in developing innovative products and methods. The hub’s development will also play a pivotal role in addressing unemployment in Athy and its catchment area by providing accessible and exciting further education pathways and training.

Having successfully secured €5.1 million in funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF), Kildare County Council is providing matched funding along with Coca-Cola to bring this project to fruition. In 2018, Coca-Cola announced the closure of its production facilities in Athy but committed to this stimulus project to create opportunities for this workforce.

In welcoming the appointment of JS Dooley Contracting who will Join Bluett & O’Donoghue, the architects for the project, Jacqui Mc Nabb Head of Enterprise ,Economic Development & Tourism in Kildare County Council said “I’m delighted to finally see this project entering the construction stage ,Kildare is home to a growing food and drinks sector and its vibrant entrepreneurs will soon have a bespoke space to further hone their skills and develop  new products. We presently have no food incubation space, or indeed, commercial kitchens to rent in the County. The hub will soon provide these much-needed facilities and the innovation space where new ideas can be teased out and tested by our entrepreneurs. The attainment of skills and quality jobs for the people of Athy and the surrounding areas is a key focus of the local area plan and I look forward to having the physical space on our doorstep for the unemployed and school leavers to learn new skills through local and regional further education providers and training partners.”

Sonya Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Kildare County Council, said After a competitive procurement process, Kildare County Council is delighted to confirm that JS Dooley Contracting Limited (JSD) will be Kildare County Council's construction partner for the Athy Food, Drinks & Agritech Hub.  We are very grateful to the Department of Rural and Community Development for the financial support received through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which has enabled this project to progress.  The delivery of this state-of-the-art facility will positively contribute to the continued development of County Kildare’s food and drink sector. Included with the delivery of this new facility will be a focus on attracting and upskilling new entrants to the Food & Drinks/Hospitality sector.   Funding secured will enable the employment of a Food Manager who will provide onsite technical expertise to enable Kildare's food entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. Kildare’s Local Enterprise Office will compound this by working closely with the Food Manager and the businesses to offer assistance and business support."

JSD is a leading Irish contractor with a strong track record of developing complex projects including heritage buildings similar to the Athy Model School. JSD is currently completing the redevelopment of the Shackelton Museum in Athy which is due to be completed by summer 2025.

For more details on opportunities in the Athy Food, Drinks and Agritech Hub please contact Local Enterprise office by emailing