3rd March 2022
Up to €180 million to be available for regional enterprise development projects
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, was at Wicklow County Council offices today as he launched the Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan (REP) to 2024.
The Mid-East Plan, covering counties Kildare, Meath and Wicklow is one of nine new enterprise plans throughout the country which will be funded by up to €180 million. This funding will drive the implementation of the plans which will develop and implement collaborative and innovation enterprise projects in the regions and support sustainable jobs.
The REPs have been developed using a ‘bottom up’ approach by people who have a real stake in their community. This model makes the plan unique and responsive to the opportunities and needs of the region, with a focus on regional collaboration.
Speaking at the launch Minister English said:
“Across counties Meath, Wicklow and Kildare an enormous effort was made by our Enterprise Agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices, Local Authorities, Regional Assemblies, higher and further education bodies and the private sector in delivering this new Regional Enterprise Plan for the Mid-East.
“Throughout 2021, I had the pleasure of working with the entire Mid-East Committee during the development of the plan. I want to congratulate and thank Owen Brennan, Chair of the Mid-East Steering Committee, Eamonn Sinnott, Chair before him, Conor Sweeney, Mid-East Programme Manager, and everyone involved across the three counties for their work in producing this new and ambitious plan to help develop and grow enterprise across the region.
“The Mid-East Plan contains five agreed ‘Strategic Objectives’ for enterprise development, accompanied by time-bound actions that deliver the objectives. The objectives focus on the regions areas of strength including on agri-food, screen content creation, equine sector, the regions acceleration to low-carbon and ensuring the enterprise ecosystem in the region is strong.
“The competitive funding available will allow the region to pursue their ambitious plan and I look forward to working with Owen and the Steering Committee through to 2024 in delivering growth in this thriving region.”
Delivering balanced regional growth is a stated objective within the Programme for Government and in the Economic Recovery Plan 2021. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment contributes to the regional agenda in a number of ways, including through the enterprise agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices and through national enterprise policy.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, also welcomed the plan, saying:
“The Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan will help to drive regional growth and create new opportunities for people and businesses right across this region.
“Importantly, these Plans will build on the successes already created and ensure they go from strength to strength.
“From my Department’s perspective, our skills agenda will act as a key driver and enabler for growth in the region. I am pleased to see the Regional Skills Forum has been at the heart of bringing this plan to completion.”
Owen Brennan, Chair of the Mid-East Regional Steering Committee said:
“I am really pleased that Minister English is here today to launch the Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan. By focusing on the five strategic objectives across agri-food, screen content, equine, a low carbon economy and a positive enterprise ecosystem, the steering committee are putting in place projects and initiatives that ensures the Mid-East realise that sustained growth and employment creation for the longer-term. We believe these objectives will act as key differentiators for the region. “
The Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024 can be accessed on the Department’s website – Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024
NOTES TO EDITOR
Nine new REPs to 2024 have been developed throughout 2021 by Regional Steering Committees. Each Regional Committee is chaired by a senior figure from private sector and include the Enterprise Agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, Local Authorities, Regional Assemblies, higher and further education bodies, and others.
Because of their regional nature, the plans bring a focus and collaborative effort to address specific regional ecosystem gaps and act on the strengths and opportunities unique to each region, adding value to and complementing the ongoing work of the individual enterprise agencies and development bodies in the region.
The Mid-East Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024 includes the following Strategic Objectives:
Strategic Objective 1: Position the Mid-East as the primary location for the development of the agri food hubs
Action 1: The completion of the Boyne Valley Food Hub (Phase 1) and the development of the Digital Innovation Smart Agri Hub (Phase 2).
Action 2: The development of the Athy Food, Drink and Skills Innovation Hub.
Action 3: The development of an incubation food development hub in County Wicklow.
Action 4: The creation of the Boyne Valley Culinary Centre of Excellence.
Strategic Objective 2: Develop the Mid-East as a hub for the screen content creation sector
Action 1: Develop and operate a Content Creation Enterprise Hub at Wicklow County Campus, Rathnew.
Action 2: Establish a Crew Development Hubs to develop and nurture new and diverse talent from across the region.
Action 3: Implement the Wicklow Screen Sector Development Strategy to lead to the growth of the industry across the region.
Strategic Objective 3: Enable the development and expansion of equine businesses across the Mid-East
Action 1: Establish the first National Equine Innovation Centre in Ireland.
Action 2: The development of programmes and training for the growth of the equine sector.
Action 3: Conduct a feasibility study to examine the expansion of the National Equine Innovation Centre.
Strategic Objective 4: Ensure that the Mid-East region accelerates the transition to a low carbon economy
Action 1: Conduct a feasibility study for the development of a regional green technology enterprise hub that facilitates the creation of a green cluster of companies.
Action 2: The development of a Green investment and enterprise zone in Allenwood, County Kildare.
Action 3: The establishment of Marine Enterprise Facilities.
Action 4: The establishment of a Marine Education and Training facility.
Action 5: The creation of a circular economy cluster.
Strategic Objective 5: Lead the continued development of a positive enterprise ecosystem in the Mid-East
Action 1: Deliver upon multi stakeholder initiatives that will develop the competitiveness of Start Ups, SMEs, and microbusiness across the region.
Action 2: Commission a regional strategy that will adopt an evidence-based approach to co-working hub and innovation space development and investment for the Mid-East.
Mid-East Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Border Enterprise Development Fund and Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme funded projects
Clermont Enterprise Hub CLG
Enterprise Hub for specialised and customised, sector specific business supports for the Irish screen content creation sector.
Kildare Community Network (MERITS)
Co-working space to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies and provide mentorship and support (MERITS)
Boyne Valley Food Innovation District DAC
Food enterprise incubation centre and smart specialization collaborative for food and drink SMEs to commercialise and scale.
UCD Nova DAC
Ag Tech Innovation Hub for the creation and expansion of knowledge intensive businesses.
Community Enterprise Association Ireland (CEAI) (formerly National Association of Community Enterprises)
Representative body of over 270 community enterprise centres. Its primary role is to support and develop the interests of community enterprise centres on a national basis.
Total REDF and RETS funding
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