€30 million added to jobs fund in government's regional development plan
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that she would be making a further €30 million available through a second call for proposals under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF).
The fund will now operate on a rolling basis through the National Development Plan. It is administered for Minister Humphreys’ Department by the State Agency, Enterprise Ireland.
The announcement was made by Minister Humphreys at Farmleigh House, Dublin where she met with the Chairpersons and representatives from the Regional Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committees to discuss new priority initiatives for the Regional Action Plans over the period to 2020.
Minister Humphreys praised the significant contribution each Regional Committee has made to date, as well as their ongoing commitment to the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative.
“The Regional Action Plans for Jobs have made real progress and there has been significant improvement in regional employment levels since 2015. Collaboration between the private and the public sector has been key, and I want to thank the Committees and their Chairpersons for their invaluable work and service," she remarked.
“We have done a lot but are working together we can achieve more. Today marks the start of our ‘refresh and refocus’ of the Regional Action Plans, as we bring together key figures from industry and the public sector to share their ideas on the strategic regional priorities we should now focus on to 2020.”
Announcing the opening of the Second Call under the €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund, the Minister added:
“In December, I was delighted to announce the award of €30.5m to 21 collaborative projects right across the country. Now that the Second Call is open, I look forward to seeing many more exciting, innovative initiatives to drive employment creation in our regions," she added.
“Under this Fund, each region will secure a minimum of €2 million once projects meet the required standard. There is an opportunity here for regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s unique strengths. This is all with a view to enhancing the enterprise and job creation potential in their region.”
Also addressing the event, the Minister State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said:
“The Regional Action Plans for Jobs have provided a structure for collaboration so that individual Counties can work together, harness collective abilities to support enterprise growth, and respond to economic challenges. The €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund builds on and supports this structure. It puts regional investment into the hands of local stakeholders, and encourages local groups to develop and drive enterprise growth and employment opportunities in their own communities.”
Chairman of the Mid-East Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee and Vice President and General Manager of Intel Ireland, Eamonn Sinnott (Kildare) said:
"It's encouraging to note that 19,300 more people are employed in the Mid-East region in Q2 2017 since our baseline of early 2015 and that the unemployment rate of 5.2% is trending below the national average.
“Congratulations to the many people that contributed to this success. Being on the immediate periphery of Dublin presents its own unique challenges and indeed opportunities and I am looking forward seeing these tackled and resolved as we press the reset button for the next phase of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative."
Michael Brougham, Enterprise Ireland Regional Director, Midlands and Mid-East said:
“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund represents the most targeted intervention by the government to drive economic development in all regions of the country. As such I would encourage all interested parties to start developing their concepts now.”
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