News & Events

New Regional Enterprise Plan for the North-East

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

Minister also announces that EMCA is moving into the Cootehill Enterprise and Technology Centre creating 42 jobs

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

The development of the North-East Plan, incorporating counties Cavan, Monaghan and Louth, 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. Richard Hanlon, Senior Vice President, Vesta Payment Solutions.

The North-East Plan identifies five Strategic Objectives, with actions to: leverage the full extent of skills and talent in the North-East to encourage more enterprise investment; develop the skills and knowledge base in the region; strengthen SME resilience; foster greater collaboration and clustering in niche industries; and enhance the attractiveness of the North-East as a place to visit.

The North-East Plan is one of nine Regional Enterprise Plans being launched by Minister Humphreys right across the country.

Speaking at the Cootehill Enterprise and Technology Centre, which has recently secured an anchor tenant, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:

““The collaboration in evidence here in Cootehill is a great example of what these new Regional Enterprise Plans are fundamentally about. The Plan for the North-East 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 here in the North-East. 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.

“That said, we have more work to do especially with Brexit on the horizon. Through this Regional Enterprise Plan, the region can work together to build on its unique strengths and fill in any gaps 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-East is ideally placed to come up with innovative, collaborative projects of scale which can deliver real economic benefits for this region.”

The Minister added:

“I am also very pleased to announce that EMCA will soon become the anchor tenant here in Cootehill Enteprise and Technology Centre with the creation of 42 new jobs. This is a great boost to Cootehill and to the county. Huge congratulations to Paul Clarke and the staff at EMCA, and also to Vincent Reynolds and his team in the Cavan County Enterprise Fund on this great news. I wish you the very best with the exciting period ahead.”

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 Richard Hanlon, Senior Vice President at Vesta Payment Solutions who has brought this new Regional Enterprise Plan to fruition, working in collaboration with regional stakeholders, including the Local Authorities in Cavan, Monaghan, and Louth, the Enterprise Agencies, the LEOs and others; and to thank him also for his previous work as Committee Chair for the previous 2015-2017 North-East/Border Plan”

Welcoming the launch of the new Regional Enterprise Plan for the North East, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD said:

“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 €8 million directly through the Urban and Rural Regeneration and Development Funds here in the North East, will increase the capacity for regional growth.”

The Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, TD was also in Cootehill for the launch of the Regional Plan.

Minister Doherty said:

“It is critical that we maintain a focus on ensuring that each individual can realise their potential, and that enterprises can have access to the right skill sets so that they can continue to create employment opportunities for people living in this region.

I am particularly pleased to see a focus in this new Regional Enterprise Plan for the North East on the development of workforce skills and talent, and labour force activation including the promotion of initiatives to address skills gaps.

And that this is being approached in a regionally collaborative manner, including the Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Education and Training Boards and the other stakeholders involved with the Regional Skills Forum.”

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, TD, said:

“This Government is acutely aware that the forthcoming departure of the UK from the European Union will have far reaching impacts, as yet not fully known, especially in the Border region.

This Regional Enterprise Plan for the North East will help businesses in this region to be better equipped for the challenges that lie ahead.

I was delighted to note the successful and well attended Customs training in Cootehill here today run by LEO Cavan. I want to take this opportunity to again encourage all businesses, no matter how big or small, to engage with the range of Government initiatives that are available so as to ensure that they are Brexit ready.”

The Chair of the North-East Regional Steering Committee, Mr. Richard Hanlon, Senior Vice President, Vesta Payment Solutions said:

“The North-East Regional Enterprise Plan seeks to build further on the successes already accomplished in the region under the previous Action Plan for Jobs. This new Plan’s strategic objectives and related key actions, having been formulated through a series of stakeholder-led engagements, are based on an identification of our region’s unique challenges and opportunity for enterprise development. 

“The Plan includes emphasis on sustainability and resilience through the delivery of transformational projects that further realise the region’s economic potential making the North East region a great place to both work and live.”

-Ends-

North-East 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-East Regional Enterprise Plan contains the following Strategic Objectives and specific actions have been set out under each area:
  • Strategic Objective 1: Leverage the full extent of talent residing in the North-East to drive new enterprise investment and growth 
  • Strategic Objective 2: Implement a holistic approach to workforce development in the North-East, matching workers’ skills to needs in the region’s enterprises and further developing the knowledge, skills and competencies of those currently in the workplace 
  • Strategic Objective 3: Strengthen SME resilience in the North-East to achieve development and growth in the face of external challenges 
  • Strategic Objective 4: Drive a higher level of economic success in the North-East by building on niche strengths and fostering clustering amongst enterprises 
  • Strategic Objective 5: Strengthen the attractiveness of the North-East as a destination to visit 
  • 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-East Region has secured total funding of over €5.4 million across three projects under the two completed REDF Calls and a share of €1.28 million in funding for a joint project including Co. Cavan, with Longford and Leitrim.:

Monaghan   County Enterprise Board

Monaghan  

Bioconnect   Innovation Centre CLG

Monaghan,   Cavan

Focused   Engineering Network DAC

Monaghan,   Cavan

Leitrim   County Enterprise Fund

Leitrim/Cavan/Longford

 

  • Monaghan County Enterprise Board: Development of a Regional Food Centre of Excellence and a range of Food Product development supports, Test and Training kitchen facility, creating collaborations in the food sector regionally, fostering entrepreneurial growth and creating jobs in rural Co. Monaghan
  • Bioconnect Innovation Centre CLG:  A project to support the performance of cutting edge biotechnology research by companies through the provision of office, laboratory, and biotechnology focused research capabilities for all stages of business development.
  • Focused Engineering Network DAC: To establish an Engineering Network of companies and local stakeholders to safeguard and future develop the engineering sector in the North East region. Supported by a business development manager, the initial focus of the network will be to identify and capture supply chain opportunities to drive business growth.
  • Leitrim County Enterprise Fund:  Development of a network of three Digital and Innovation Hubs in Counties Leitrim, Cavan and Longford.
  • 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.

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