News & Events

New Regional Enterprise Plan for the North-West

Avantcard to create 40 new jobs in Carrick on Shannon and Dublin

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

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, today launched a new Regional Enterprise Plan for the North-West to support enterprise growth and job creation through collaborative initiatives.

The development of the North-West Plan, incorporating counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, was overseen by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, working with stakeholders from the North-West region, through a regional stakeholder Committee chaired by Mr. Conor Murphy, Site Director, Abbott Diagnostics Division.

The North-West Plan identifies six Strategic Objectives, with actions to: identify and enhance the visibility of skills and talent in the North West; achieve a step-change in the level of regional entrepreneurship; harness the potential of the blue economy; maximise the potential of the Wild Atlantic Way and tourism; develop a regional network of landing spaces to support co-working; and support the digitalisation of SMEs in the North-West.

The North-West Plan is one of nine Regional Enterprise Plans being launched by Minister Humphreys currently.

Speaking at the Drumshanbo Food Hub, Co. Leitrim, which through the Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone CLG was recently awarded over €950,000 under her Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:

“The collaboration in evidence here in Leitrim, to build on the success and reputation for food and beverage in here the North-West, is a great example of what these new Regional Enterprise Plans are fundamentally about. The Regional Enterprise Plan for the North-West to 2020 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 North-West. There are 8,200 more people at work today in the border region than at the beginning of 2015, when the Government first launched regional jobs plans, and the unemployment rate has reduced from 8.6 percent down to 3.8 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 North-West is ideally placed to come up with innovative, collaborative projects of scale which can deliver real economic benefits for this region.”

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 three regional plans will be launched over the coming weeks.

Minister Humphreys added:

“I want to thank Mr. Conor Murphy, Site Director, Abbott Diagnostics Division who has brought this new Regional Enterprise Plan to fruition, working in collaboration with regional stakeholders, including the Local Authorities in Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo, the Enterprise Agencies, the LEOs and others; and to thank him also for his previous work as Committee Chair for the 2015-2017 North-West/Border Plan”

Earlier on Monday in Carrick-on-Shannon, Minister Humphreys announced the creation of forty new jobs at Avantcard to be created in their Carrick on Shannon headquarters and a satellite operation in Dublin.

“I was delighted to be in Carrick-on-Shannon earlier this morning to officially announce 40 new jobs for Avantcard. These jobs are a welcome boost for Carrick on Shannon and the region and they are testament to the talent and skills that are available here”

Also in Carrick-on-Shannon, Minister Humphreys met with a number of companies based in The Hive enterprise centre. The Hive offers fully serviced office spaces, hot desk work areas and conference facilities and is currently home to 35 businesses employing over 80 people.  The Hive is part of a network of three Digital and Innovation Hubs in Leitrim, Cavan and Longford that were collectively awarded more than €1.28 million in funding the Regional Enterprise Development Fund in December 2017. 

Speaking at the launch of the Regional Enterprise Plan for the North West in Drumshanbo, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD said:

“I’m delighted that the new North-West Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 is being launched here in the Drumshanbo Food Hub, Co. Leitrim today which is a great example of how local stakeholders have recognised an opportunity and worked together to deliver on their ambition. I welcome the further investment in the Food Hub under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund”

He added:

“We want all our regions to realise their economic potential, so I was very pleased that the figures released recently by the CSO show that employment has grown in every region and that we have almost reached our Government target of 135,000 more jobs being created for people living outside of Dublin. The significant investment that we are making in the regions under Project 2040, including more than €13 million directly through the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds here in the North West, will increase the capacity for regional growth.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD was also in Drumshanbo for the launch.

Minister McHugh said:

“Regional and rural job creation is at the core of this Government’s mission. As Minister for Education and Skills, I am very pleased to see that Skills and Talent have been placed front and centre in this new Regional Enterprise Plan for the North West to 2020”.

He added:

“We have a wealth of talent here in the North-West and I am confident that by working together we can leverage the region’s talent and favourable quality of life to attract more investment and grow enterprise and jobs in this region. This new Regional Enterprise Plan for the North West will build on the strong collaboration that exists in this region and will help to build resilience in the region’s enterprise sector in the face of new challenges, including Brexit.”

The Chair of the North-West Regional Steering Committee Mr. Conor Murphy, Site Director, Abbott Diagnostics Division said:

“The North West is a unique and great place to work and live, and this new Plan will make sure that we continue to work together and build on our recent successes across the region.

“I want to thank the Regional Steering Committee for all their hard work in this process and I look forward to seeing the benefits of this initiative in the future.”

-Ends-

North-West Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020

For further information, contact:

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

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Regional Enterprise Plans:

  • The North-West Regional Enterprise Plan contains the following Strategic Objectives and specific actions have been set out under each area:
  • Strategic Objective 1: Identify and enhance the visibility of skills available to employers and potential investors in the North-West 
  • Strategic Objective 2: Achieve a step-change in the level of entrepreneurship in the North-West 
  • Strategic Objective 3: Harness the potential of the blue economy and the North-West coastline as a source of new employment generation 
  • Strategic Objective 4: Maximise the potential of the Wild Atlantic Way and tourism for the North-West 
  • Strategic Objective 5: Develop a regional network of landing spaces to support co-working           
  • Strategic Objective 6: Support the digitalisation of SMEs in the North-West 
  • 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 North-West Region has secured total funding of over €5.2 million across four projects under the two completed REDF Calls:

Donegal   Digital Innovation CLG

Donegal

Leitrim   County Enterprise Fund

Leitrim/Cavan/Longford

Leitrim   Food Enterprise Zone CLG

Leitrim,   Cavan, Sligo

Sligo   County Enterprise Fund CLG

Sligo,   Mayo, Leitrim

 

  • Donegal Digital Innovation CLG: Create an innovation ecosystem in Inishowen, Co Donegal, by delivering a 3-year enterprise capacity building programme, based on cross-fertilising the peninsula’s location factors, high tech skillsets, applied research potential in traditional sectors focused around a new Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub.
  • Leitrim County Enterprise Fund:  Development of a network of three Digital and Innovation Hubs in Counties Leitrim, Cavan and Longford.
  • Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone CLG: A project that will create a food grade infrastructure and support hotspot in Drumshanbo to drive clustering and growth of food companies in counties Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan and Donegal creating 137 new jobs and building a strong national and export sales platform for sustainable, outward looking growth.
  • Sligo County Enterprise Fund CLG: Development of the Strand Campus to operate as a leading location in the region for entrepreneurs in digital gaming and associated tech sectors, providing holistic support for start-up, innovation and growth.

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.

For more information please contact press.office@dbei.gov.ie or ph: (01) 6312200

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