Irish Government invests €45m to power the regions

As Minister Heather Humphreys opens third call for projects Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Enterprise Ireland reveals new ‘Powering the Regions’ plan for growth.

Business and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys TD has made a further €45m available under the Irish Government’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) strategy.

The investment increase coincided with Enterprise Ireland publishing its regional plan for growth entitled ‘Powering the Regions.’

The Minister revealed the third call under the strategy at the recent opening of the Cavan Digital Hub, which was developed with the support of the REDF.

Details of the competitive process for the third call for applications for the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are available here.

REDF is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and aligns with the Department’s Future Jobs Ireland plan. The call is open for applications from today and closes on 25 September 2019. The successful projects will be announced before the end of the year.

“It encourages regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s strengths, whether that’s food, pharma, the bioeconomy or anything else”

Under the plan Strategic Change Projects will receive funding of up to €5m per project.

Regional Strengthening Projects, which are designed to stimulate new local community or regional initiatives to address gaps into enterprise ecosystem, will receive funding of up to €500,000 per projects.

Also, under the strategy, Enterprise Clustering Projects, to support the growth of established industry clusters regionally by sector and nationally, will receive funding of up to €350,000 per project.

“This Fund is about creating sustainable jobs in the regions,” Minister Humphreys said. “It’s different to other initiatives because it supports projects with regional impact, rather than having a county level focus.

“Collaboration is central to the Fund. It encourages regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s strengths, whether that’s food, pharma, the bioeconomy or anything else.

“Crucially, the Fund will help build Brexit resilience and supports the vision of the nine new Regional Enterprise Plans, which I launched earlier this year. The Plans take a ‘ground up’ approach to maximise business development and job creation in every part of the country.”

A revolution in the regions

The original REDF scheme, launched under two separate calls in 2017 and 2018, supported 38 feasibility and 42 main stream projects with funding of approximately €60m in locations across every region in Ireland.

Examples include a large-scale food incubation and research space through Bia Innovator Campus in Athenry; an extension to the successful Portershed Incubation Centre in Galway City; an expansion of the Ludgate project in Skibbereen through a new premise and a series of outreach projects covering West Cork; the Boyne Valley Food Hub in Navan; and the Irish Bioeconomy Pilot facility in Lisheen in Tipperary, which re-purposed part of the former Lisheen Mine site as a national centre for Bioeconomy research.

Another example is the Emerald Aviation Cluster in the Mid-West/West, a cluster of 15 sub-supply companies in the aerospace and aviation sector

“Powering the Regions is Enterprise Ireland’s response to recent Government Regional Initiatives including the Future Jobs Ireland framework, the Regional Assemblies, Regional Enterprise Plans and Project Ireland 2040. The successful implementation of the ‘Powering the Regions’ plan will underpin the national strategies and deliver stronger regional enterprises, that provide sustainable employment opportunities and local prosperity as well as making an even greater contribution to Ireland’s economic growth and international impact.”

Written by John Kennedy

Published on 26 June, 2019

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