Apple’s 5,000-strong Cork workforce is set to increase, with the Hollyhill expansion finally given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.
With 1,000 jobs coming on stream at the new four-storey office block, complemented by 752 new car spaces, Apple’s expansion should start next year, taking five months to complete.
The original plan was to get building over the summer, completing the job by Christmas, however, a series of public objections forced a delay.
This was criticised heavily by Apple, which warned of the “serious” effects on the local economy should the build be shelved, or even delayed.
An Bord Pleanála yesterday (24 August) decided the plan would not seriously affect local properties and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety, despite some residents complaining of “practically living in an industrial estate”.
It has been quite the month for Apple in Ireland. Two weeks ago, it received approval from An Bord Pleanála for a major new facility in Athenry, Galway.
Costing €850m, the data centre was also delayed due to dozens of complaints, before the Irish body agreed with the tech giant and allowed for the facility’s construction.
When completed, the centre will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri, for customers across Europe.
To be built on a 500-acre greenfield site in Derrydonnell, the company hopes the new facility will be open by the end of next year, part of a €1.7bn investment that will see a similar build in Denmark.
It’s not just Ireland in Apple’s gaze, though, with renewed plans to pour investment into China, as the tech giant struggles to keep up with a growing number of competitors.
The boost in activity in China from Apple comes after a continual decline in its relevance there, with Android devices far more popular than the iOS equivalent.