Arklow is the third largest town in Co. Wicklow. Designated a Level 3 Large Growth Town 11 within the hinterland area, it is prioritised for growth and investment. It is the main centre located in the south of the county with a population of 13,163, which is expected to increase to 23,000 by 2028.
Arklow is strategically located between Dublin and Rosslare and lies on the designated Euro Route 01 from Belfast to Rosslare. Arklow’s access to Dublin city centre and the M50 has been radically improved in recent times with the upgrading of the N11 and the new M11. Dublin City Centre is approximately one hour's drive away and the M50 can be reached within 40 minutes. It is serviced by a daily freight and intercity passenger train service to Wexford and Dublin and Bus Éireann provides several routes through Arklow.
Arklow has a strong commuter base travelling principally to Dublin. The highly skilled workforce along with its strategic location and good supply of zoned employment land presents a particular opportunity for potential investors. International companies located in Arklow include Servier and Elavon.
The town has a well-established economic base, comprising a large number of small to medium-sized enterprises and a wide range of commercial activities.
There are a number of large enterprise parks. The 32 hectare IDA Business and Technology Park, to the west of Arklow and accessed directly from the M11 Arklow Bypass, offers a varying number of sites for development. The Kish Business Park, also located off the southern exit of the M11, comprises some 27 acres of industrially zoned land and accommodates a number of light industrial enterprises across a broad spectrum of industries. The Avoca River Park, comprising 250 acres, offers ample space for potential business and the Arklow Enterprise Centre (ABEC) provides space and a range of support services to client companies and local entrepreneurs.
Arklow Port lies halfway between Dublin and the southeast corner of Ireland, and its geographical position provides it with several advantages for port users. Its ready access to national routes to all parts of the country, together with a skilled labour force, guarantees rapid handling of goods and delivery to ultimate destinations. Businesses operating out of Arklow Harbour include ship-owning, leisure vessel marina operation and shipping services. Located for over 50 years on the North Quay is the head office of one of Europe's largest shipping company.
Arklow is a lively town with a picturesque main street, colourful shop fronts, ornate lighting and a charming riverside walk. It is home to some of the country’s leading retailers such as Tesco, Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl. There are many reasons why Arklow is an excellent location for retail business. The town is home to many vibrant businesses offering a retail experience ranging from bespoke shops and family-run businesses to boutiques and specialist food stores. An active Chamber and Town Team works to incentivise job creations as well as improving the general lifestyle for business and residents alike.
Arklow’s traditional status as a strong retail town has been reinforced by the development of the Bridgewater Shopping Centre. This centre comprises 400,000 sq ft of shopping, leisure, residential and commercial/office space. Set on a spectacular 13 acre waterfront site, its inspiring design creates a backdrop for "fashion, food and fun". The centre features leading fashion and lifestyle retailers, a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and food court.
Leisure and entertainment
Arklow is a special town with a wealth of leisure facilities and activities to suit all ages. It is an excellent base for exploring Co. Wicklow and neighbouring counties. Large festival events include the Arklow Sea Breeze Festival.
Key assets for economic development and employment
- A sophisticated modern and well developed town on the door step of Dublin
- Easy access to the M50 via the N11/M11, Dublin Airport, Euro Route E01 (N11/M11) from Rosslare to Dublin – Belfast Corridor
- Well developed business parks and modern office accommodation – space to grow your business
- The availability of 23 acres of zoned and serviced sites at Wicklow County Council-owned Avondale Business Park as well as the availability of local authority lands at Ballynattin earmarked for employment and enterprise
- Excellent telecommunications and internet infrastructure
- Strong and vibrant retail sector, active Town Team and Chamber of Commerce
- Proximity to universities and third level institutions so employers can expect to recruit from a highly skilled and educated workforce
- Wealth of leisure, entertainment and tourism products
- A quality of life that can only be described as unique