News & Events

New Regional Enterprise Plan for the Mid-West

New Plan is one of nine Regional Enterprise Plans being launched by Minister Humphreys to drive enterprise growth in the regions

Lisheen, Co.Tipperary, Wednesday 20th February 2019

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, today launched a new Regional Enterprise Plan for the Mid-West to support enterprise growth and job creation through collaborative initiatives. She was joined at the event by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD; Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, TD; and Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan, TD.

The development of the Mid-West Plan, incorporating counties Tipperary, Clare and Limerick was overseen by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, working with stakeholders from the Mid-West region, through a committee chaired by Mr. Barry O’Sullivan, Global Manufacturing Platform Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision Inc.

The Mid-West Plan identifies five Strategic Objectives, with actions to: enable a Digital Economy and make the Mid-West Ireland’s leading Smart City-Region; achieve a step-change in progress toward a Low Carbon Economy in the region; continue to develop workforce skills and talent and enhance the attractiveness of living and working in the Mid-West; develop the Region’s capacity to deliver economic growth; and build a coordinated Regional messaging brand for consistent communication


The Mid-West Plan is one of nine Regional Enterprise Plans being launched by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the location for the development of a National Bioeconomy Innovation and Piloting Facility in Lisheen, Co. Tipperary, a project being supported by her Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund to the tune of €4.6m, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:

“The collaboration in evidence here at Lisheen is a great example of what these new Regional Enterprise Plans are fundamentally about. The Plan for the Mid-West that I am launching today sets out a number of key strategic areas where regional stakeholders working together will provide a basis for future enterprise development and job creation that is sustainable in the longer term.

“I am pleased to note that jobs growth has been strong in all regions, including the Mid-West. There are over 14,700 more people at work in the Mid-West today than at the beginning of 2015, when the Government first launched regional jobs plans, and the unemployment rate has reduced significantly from 12 percent in 2015 down to 5.6 percent.

“Notwithstanding this huge success, it is clear that there are new challenges emerging for enterprises in the external environment. Through this Regional Enterprise Plan, the region can adopt a leadership position through driving initiatives from the ground-up.

“As part of Project Ireland 2040, the Government has introduced a range of new funding streams such as the €1 billion Rural Regeneration Fund, the €2 billion Urban Development Fund, the €500 million Climate Action Fund and the €500m Disruptive Technologies Fund. These are in addition to other existing schemes such as my Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

“Given the wide range of stakeholders involved, the Regional Enterprise Steering Committee for the Mid-West is ideally placed to come up with innovative, collaborative projects of scale which can deliver real economic benefits for this region.”

Strengthening our regional enterprises is particularly important in the context of Brexit.

“Whether a business is a construction company, local beauty salon, bakery or even an Irish base of a multinational medical device company, it is crucial that they check their supply chains for vulnerabilities to Brexit impacts.”, the Minister said.

The nine new Regional Enterprise Plans being launched by Minister Humphreys are the result of an extensive refresh of the original Regional Action Plans for Jobs (RAPJs) which ran from 2015 to 2017/8. The new Plans complement and add value to the ongoing work of the Enterprise Agencies, LEOs, Regional Skills Fora, and other bodies involved in supporting enterprise development in the regional setting. The remaining four regional plans will be launched over the coming weeks.

Minister Humphreys added:

“I want to thank Mr. Barry O’Sullivan, Global Manufacturing Platform Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision Inc. who has brought this new Regional Enterprise Plan to fruition and who will oversee its implementation, working in collaboration with regional stakeholders, including the Local Authorities in Tipperary, Clare and Limerick, the Enterprise Agencies, the LEOs and others; and to thank him also for his previous work as Committee Chair for the 2015-2017 Mid-West Plan”

Separately, the Minister also took the opportunity after the launch to visit AgChemWhey, the Glanbia-led Horizon 2020 funded project, as well as Horan Automation in Thurles. Glanbia is supported by the Government through Enterprise Ireland.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD and the Minister for State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan TD, were also in Lisheen for the launch.

Minister Ring said:

“Regional and rural job creation is at the core of this Government’s mission, and through initiatives such as these Regional Enterprise Plans, the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, together with the €315 million in funding that my Department of Community and Rural Development is currently rolling out over the next four years for Rural Regeneration and Development under Project Ireland 2040, the future of rural and regional Ireland, including in this region, can be a lot brighter”

He added:

“Only last week I announced that a further 66 projects have approved a total of €62 million under the Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. This brings the total awarded to date up to €83 million. Of this, the Mid-West region has secured nearly €16 million directly, while the counties from this region are also partners to a number of joint projects totaling another €16.3 million. These investments by Government will have a transformative effect on many rural towns, villages and outlying areas in the Mid-West.”

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Pat Breen TD said:

“I’m delighted to welcome the launch of the new Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020., Given its emphasis on future enterprise development, it is fitting that we find ourselves here in Lisheen - in a setting where another critical piece of infrastructure to support innovation, business growth and jobs in the region is being developed with support of over €4.6 million from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. In addition to this project, the REDF will also provide funding to the Emerald Aerocluster, the Clare Marine Economic Zone, the B-Nest Social Initiative and Innovate Limerick. Overall, funding of over €9.5 million is being invested into the region. The new Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan provides a focus for further economic development in the region and I look forward to seeing more collaborative initiatives emerging as a result.

Minister O’Donovan said:

“Having seen the great progress already in this region under the Mid-West Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017 with more than 14,700 more people at work; I am confident that the Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan will build on the excellent collaborative spirit in evidence in this region. I am delighted to see an emphasis in this new Mid-West Plan on the challenges and indeed opportunities for Ireland in all regions, through ongoing digitalisation and the transition to a low carbon economy. This new Plan will support resilience in businesses and in communities and will also ensure that there is a pipeline of new opportunities so that the Mid-West region can positively engage with changes that lie ahead.”

The Chair of the Mid-West Regional Steering Committee Mr. Barry O’Sullivan, Global Manufacturing Platform Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision Inc. said, “We are delighted with the success of the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, with 14,700 more people in employment now compared to when the plan was launched. The Action Plan for Jobs has given us a framework for collaboration across public and private partners, which were leveraged to secure over €9.4m from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to deliver five new innovative game changer projects across the region”.

He added:

“The continuation of this crucial regional initiative by Minister Humphreys through the publication of the new Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan reaffirms government’s commitment to regional growth.”

He concluded by saying:

“Our new Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan is focused on working toward our vision for the Mid-West region to be Ireland's leading ‘Inclusive Smart City-Region’, utilising our unique asset base, converting emerging opportunities to jobs and continually up-skilling people, to ensure both enterprise and citizens have equal access to opportunities for growth”

-Ends-

For further information, contact:
Press Office, Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or 0871255572 press.office@dbei.ie

Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Regional Enterprise Plans:

• The Mid West Regional Enterprise Plan contains the following Strategic Objectives and specific actions have been set out under each area:

o Strategic Objective 1: Enable a digital economy and make the Mid-West Ireland’s leading smart city-region

o Strategic Objective 2: Achieve a step-change in progress toward a low carbon economy in the Mid-West

o Strategic Objective 3: Continue to develop workforce skills and talent and enhance the attractiveness of living and working in the Mid-West

o Strategic Objective 4: Develop the Mid-West’s capacity to deliver economic growth

o Strategic Objective 5: Build a coordinated regional messaging brand for consistent communication

• Co-ordinated by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, nine Regional Enterprise Plans have been developed for: Midlands, South-East, South-West, Mid-West, West, North-West, North-East, Mid-East and Dublin.

• Launches by Minister Humphreys are taking place in the following locations:

Region Date Venue

Midlands 6th February Mountmellick, Laois
Mid-East 7th February Naas, Kildare
West 11th February Galway City, Galway
Dublin 13th February Dublin City, Dublin
Mid-West 20th February Lisheen, Tipperary
North-West 25th February Leitrim
North-East 25th February Cootehill, Cavan
South-West 1st March Skibbereen, Cork
South-East 22nd March Waterford City

• In developing the Regional Enterprise Plans, each individual Regional Implementation Committee was asked by Minister Humphreys to take into consideration their work to date on the original Regional Action Plans for Jobs (RAPJs), the new challenges, strengths and opportunities that the region currently faces, and to strategically elevate areas where they could support enterprise development in their region through collaborative actions.

• The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Heather Humphreys TD met with the Chairs of the RAPJ Committees and up to 100 regional stakeholders in Farmleigh in April 2018 to commence the process.

• The Strategic Objectives and actions in each of the new Regional Enterprise Plans are set out alongside the Enterprise Agencies’ (EI, IDA, LEOs) core activities. The Plans therefore are aimed at adding value to what the Agencies are doing on the ground, through collaborative actions.

• As a ‘bottom-up’ initiative, the Plans complement national level policies and programmes emanating from the ‘top-down’ and in particular, there is strong alignment with Ireland’s recently national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed and the forthcoming Future Jobs Ireland initiative.

• The Regional Enterprise Plans are two-year focused plans to end 2020 and they are also ‘live’ documents, with the expectation that new initiatives can be taken on during their operation by the regional stakeholders working together.

• The 2020 targets initially set out under the Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) 2015 – 2017/8 remain in place – that is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with the aim of having the unemployment rate of each region within one percentage point of the State average. The new Plans are also seeking to generate enterprise growth and resilience, and to enable the creation of employment that is of good quality and sustainable over the longer term.

• While the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and its agencies are facilitating and supporting the renewal of the regional Plans, if they are to be successful, they need to be owned and delivered by the key stakeholders of the region, with significant private sector involvement continuing to be a critical part of the framework.

• ‘Enterprise Champions’ will continue to be a central part of the leadership in each region to help drive the process forward, and the Steering Committees charged with implementing the Plans are chaired by senior business people.

• The actions set out in the Regional Enterprise Plans include timelines for delivery, with responsibility allocated to the relevant parties. The intention is that each Plan will be monitored at regional level to ensure local responsibility for delivery, with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation overseeing the process and progress at the national level.

• The Regional Enterprise Plans have a strong complementary role to play in the context of Project Ireland 2040, and more specifically in the implementation of the National Planning Framework and its constituent Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs) at NUTS 2 (Regional Assembly) level.

The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF):

The REDF is a €60m competitive fund introduced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and administered by Enterprise Ireland. It is aimed at supporting collaborative and innovative projects that can help to sustain and add to employment at a national, regional and county level.

In total, 42 projects have been awarded funding over two completed Calls worth a total of €60m, with projects supported in every region.
The Mid-West Region has secured total funding of over €9.5 million across five projects under the two completed REDF Calls:

Emerald Aerocluster CLG Limerick/Clare
Irish Bioeconomy Foundation CLG Tipperary
BNest Social Initiative DAC Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Cork, Kerry
Clare MEZ (Maritime Economic Zone) DAC Clare
Hospital Food Units DAC Limerick, Clare, Tipperary

• Irish Bioeconomy Foundation: Development of a state-of-the-art National Bioeconomy Innovation & Piloting Facility encompassing flexible, modular, pilot-scale multi-purpose chemical & biological infrastructure
• Emerald Aero Cluster: A cluster of 14 indigenous manufacturing companies, brought together with the specific purpose of increasing Aerospace manufacturing export revenues for members and aerospace business for Ireland.
• BNest Social Initiative: an initiative that will assist businesses seeking social impact to achieve viability and scale through various development programmes, and by so doing allow innovative ideas with significant potential for societal impact to evolve to sustainable commercial entities.
• Clare MEZ DAC: A project providing specialist infrastructure and accommodation; and making the facility available for maritime related training and field research support.
• Hospital Food Units DAC (Innovate Limerick): will provide a Digital Collaboration Centre in Limerick City to increase number of HPSU’s in the region, increase SME and MNC productivity, increase scaling opportunities for StartUps and SMEs, attract and retain talent across the region, and establish the region as an international centre for film and film post production.

ENDS

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

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