Shannon Free Zone at a Glance:

  • The world’s first free trade zone (established in 1959)
  • 600 acres; 200 buildings
  • 7 million sq. ft. of development buildings for manufacturing, distribution and offices
  • 100 companies across a range of sectors
  • 168 acres of serviced sites available
  • 7,000 jobs
  • €3 billion generated in trade every year; 90% exports
  • Has direct links to Shannon Airport with buildings adjacent to runsays
  • Located beside Shannon Airport, 24km north east of Limerick city, 18km south of Ennis, 64km from Galway and 2 hours from Dublin
  • Offers a range of special tax efficient incentives for businesses

Adjoining Shannon International Airport, Shannon Free Zone is one of Ireland’s leading international business parks and the location for Ireland’s largest cluster of North American investment.

Shannon Free Zone has seen huge growth in internationally traded services from financial and insurance to software and telecoms services, and customer contact centres. International companies use Shannon to serve markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Japan and the Pacific Rim.

Some global names that have chosen Shannon as their European location:

  • Zimmer
  • UCB
  • Element Six
  • GE Sensing
  • Intel
  • Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon

Also close to Shannon Airport and Shannon Free Zone are Smithstown Industrial Park and Western Business Park, both vibrant bases for the sub-supply sector in Shannon and home to over 30 high-calibre indigenous manufacturing and service companies serving Shannon Free Zone, national and international customers.

For more information on Shannon Free Zone, visit Shannon Commercial Properties website.

Shannon Free Zone’s Innovative History

During the 1940s, Shannon Airport was a crucial link in world airline traffic with as much as 85% of transatlantic traffic stopping there to refuel. However, the advent of the jet aircraft changed this and also threatened Shannon’s future. The Government’s response to this threat was to turn it into an opportunity by setting out to promote the area for industrial and tourism development. A newly formed regional development agency, Shannon Free Airport Development Company (which traded as Shannon Development) was set up to spearhead innovative approaches to make this happen. So, on January 28, 1959, Shannon Development commenced its daunting task

A visit to the Shannon Free Zone clearly demonstrates this innovativeness. As the world’s first export processing zone, this was a product of the late 1950s and ‘60s. However, the Zone has been fitted out with the latest technologies required for future development well into the 21st Century and continues to attract high profile international clients.

Construction of the 300 acre site beside Shannon Airport commenced in 1959 and it was formally inaugurated in 1960. The Zone became the trendsetter for Ireland in the early 1960s in a drive to create economic growth. Its leading position can be gauged from the fact that in 1965, for instance, exports of manufactured goods from Shannon accounted for almost one-third of the national total.

Shannon Free Zone remains Ireland’s biggest multi-sectoral business park with the largest cluster of FDI investment outside of Dublin. The availability of high quality, flexible, accommodation, in a pleasant parkland environment is a key reason why international companies continue to look towards Shannon as their preferred investment choice.