The nine Regional Enterprise Plans are an integral part of Ireland’s enterprise policy, aimed at driving economic growth and sustaining better standards of living throughout Ireland. As a ‘bottom-up’ initiative, the Plans complement national level policies and programmes emanating from a ‘top-down’ such as Ireland’s national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed and the Future Jobs Ireland initiative.
The first set of Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 (REPs), which are currently in implementation, were launched in early 2019 and build on the success of the previous Regional Action Plans for Jobs which were in operation up to the end of 2018.
The REPs provide perspective and ideas from the ‘bottom-up’. They are informed by an understanding of unique local strengths and assets and enable more effective translation of national policy into regional and local impact. Each Plan has been created by regional stakeholders who have collectively identified a number of Strategic Objectives for enterprise development for their region.
The Plans complement and build on the existing activities being undertaken by the Enterprise Agencies, the LEOs and the wider range of State Bodies directly involved in supporting enterprise development in the regions, and as such, generate added value from regional and local actors working collaboratively.
Nine Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committees, chaired by private sector business people and comprising representatives of the Local Authorities, LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Regional Skills Fora, Higher and Further Education Institutes, enterprise champions and others, oversee the implementation of the Plans. The Committees maintain the Plans as ‘live’ agendas which aim to be agile and responsive to both new opportunities and also new challenges, for example: Brexit, Climate Action, Digital Economy, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic economic impacts.
First Progress Reports on implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans
The nine Year 1 (to end 2019) Progress Reports on implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans:
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020
The nine Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020:
The Final Progress Reports on the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017/8 are available at regionalapj.ie.
Regional Enterprise Development Fund
The Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), which was introduced in 2017, has been an effective instrument of policy that complements the Regional Enterprise Plans.
The REDF, which is administered on behalf of the Department by Enterprise Ireland, has the aim of supporting the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can enable and sustain enterprise and employment growth in the regions and also adding to their attractiveness for enterprise investment.
There have been three calls under the REDF to date and just over €100 million in funding has been approved across 68 projects in all regions. In January 2020, the Minister announced that under Call 3 of the REDF, 26 projects were approved funding totaling over €40 million. Projects were approved in each region.
Border Enterprise Development Fund
The Border Enterprise Development Fund (BEDF), which was announced in January 2020, is a key element of a €28 million economic stimulus package ringfenced for the six Border counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal.
The BEDF provides support for collaborative, enterprise capability-building projects, to advance entrepreneurship, productivity and innovation in the Border Region, and will improve the international competitiveness of enterprise in the Border Region in the context of Brexit and other market challenges.
On 22 June 2020, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation announced that 11 projects across all six Border counties were approved funding totaling over €17 million.
More information on the REDF and BEDF schemes