11/12/2017

Projects Across Ireland Secure Enterprise Funding

Twenty-one projects from across Ireland have secured up to €30.5 million in the first competitive call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, announced the results of the first round of the new €60m fund.

Over €14m has been approved for projects in the southern region, over €11m for projects in the eastern and midlands region, and more than €5m has been approved for the northern and western region, subject to grant conditions.

The Fund, which is an open national competitive call to support regional projects, is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development.

Announcing the successful Regional Enterprise Development Fund applicants at Irish Manufacturing Research in Mullingar, Minister Humphreys said: "In this year's Action Plan for Jobs, we made the decision to place a specific focus on strengthening the rural and regional economy. To stimulate regional growth as we move towards 2020, we announced a €60 million competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund over two calls.

"Our aim was to provide financial support for organisations set up specifically to bring together stakeholders on projects that will benefit the local community, the region or nationally. The successful applicants include an exciting range of projects which will develop strong entrepreneurial or innovation ecosystems, encourage clusters of similar businesses, or develop specific sectors where there is the potential for competitive advantage.

"Twenty-one collaborative projects from all over the country will receive an offer of €30.5 million investment by Government and I am delighted to announce that the Irish Manufacturing Research group here in Mullingar is one of the projects which has received an offer of funding.

"This Fund allows us to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs, helping to drive growth in key sectors or geographies across the country, particularly in the context of Brexit. We are backing local and regional stakeholders to drive the future of their own communities by supporting their innovative proposals which will help to deliver job creation and sustainable employment."

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, added: "As a Government we need to continually challenge ourselves on how to create jobs outside of the main cities. That's exactly what this fund does.

"It will directly support innovative projects in our regions and, in doing so, help to create rural jobs. By creating jobs in rural Ireland we can convince young people to live in rural areas. I wish the successful applicants every success and urge companies in our regions to consider applying for the second round of funding early next year.

"The jobs recovery is finally spreading into the regions. In the last twelve months, four out five jobs created were outside Dublin and the live register figures in all of our regions are heading in the right direction. But there's still a long way to go and no room for complacency. I look forward to working with Minister Humphreys on more regional jobs initiatives."

(MH)

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