Athlone could be in line for a major jobs boost with one of its biggest employers getting planning permission for an expansion.
Kinetic Concepts currently employs 365 people in the IDA Business Park and it intends to expand, with an increased workforce expected.
KCI Manufacturing is a worldwide provider of advanced healing technologies and, in 2007, it established a manufacturing operation in Athlone.
Since then, the operation has expanded significantly and while it originally created 250 local jobs, a further 115 were later added.
With 365 personnel currently employed on the site, it needs additional parking places, and Westmeath County Council has given it the go-ahead for 70 spaces on a greenfield site beside its plant in the Athlone Road.
In its planning application, the company says that, as well as catering for the existing employees, the car park is also to cater for future expansion on the site, which would include an increased workforce.
John McGrath, the president Athlone Chamber of Commerce, is welcoming the news and says KCI has become a valuable employer in the town.