Roanoke County Providing Millions in Incentives to Ardagh Group - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Roanoke County Providing Millions in Incentives to Ardagh Group

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Tuesday night, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors will approve an incentives package worth more than $2 million that was used to lure a new manufacturing company to the Roanoke Valley.

Last week, Ardagh Group, which produces metal cans for the food and beverage industry, announced it had purchased a 525,000-square-foot building on Hollins Road that it will use as its newest manufacturing plant. The company says it plans to invest $93.5 million into the project and will create 96 new jobs.

Roanoke County Economic Development Director Jill Loope helped Ardagh reach its decision to come to the region. She says when an opportunity like this presents itself, you fight for it.

"It's a huge deal," Loope said. "Obviously a project of this magnitude doesn't come around every day."

She says if you're serious about seizing those opportunities, you have to bring incentives to the negotiating table.

"These companies look all over the eastern United States to find the perfect site for their new facility," Loope said. "And it becomes a very competitive process."

In the case of Ardagh, Roanoke County had the right location, the right workforce, and an incentive package worth more than $2 million.

Under the agreement, Roanoke County will essentially let Ardagh keep the money it would have otherwise given up in county real estate, business personal property, and machinery and tools taxes for three years. The county is also giving Ardagh a $750,000 grant using money it received from the Governor's Opportunity Fund.

In return, Ardagh has to meet the investment ($93.5 million) and employment goals (96 new jobs with a minimum salary of $40,000) it announced by the end of 2016. 

"It's a win-win for everyone involved," Loope said.

If Ardagh does not meet those goals, the agreement gives the county authority to recoup those tax reimbursements it offered to the company. Loope, however, feels very confident that won't happen.

"Each of us has our own expectations, but I think they're going to be very successful at meeting those very quickly," Loope said.

If Ardagh does come through, the county estimates it will receive $800,000 each year in new tax revenues. In addition, Loope says the company should also provide a more than $4 million annual payroll to community members.