THE Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, has launched the West Regional Enterprise Plan, the third of nine enterprise plans, to support enterprise growth and job creation in the region through collaborative initiatives.
The Regional Enterprise Plan for the West is focused around six strategic objectives that build on the region’s strengths and address vulnerabilities. These include achieving further development and growth in life sciences, agri-tech, tourism and the creative sector, as well as strengthening the regional ecosystem in relation to skills availability and enterprise space.
Speaking at the launch in the Portershed, Galway City, yesterday, the minister said: “The Regional Enterprise Plan for the West 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 the west. There are 28,400 more people at work in the west today than at the beginning of 2015, when the government first launched regional jobs plans, and the unemployment rate has reduced significantly from almost 12.6 percent in 2015 down to 6.6 percent.
“Notwithstanding this huge success, it is clear that there are new challenges emerging for enterprises in the external environment. Through this regional enterprise plan, the region can adopt a leadership position through driving initiatives from the ground-up.”
She continued: “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 West is ideally placed to come up with innovative, collaborative projects of scale which can deliver real economic benefits for this region.”
Strengthening our regional enterprises is particularly important in the context of Brexit. “Over the coming weeks, my department will continue to highlight the key issues that businesses need to be aware of in the run up to Brexit, and the government supports that are available to them to mitigate its impacts”, the minister said.
As part of her visit to Galway, Minister Humphreys also announced the creation of 45 new jobs at Joulica.
* The Mayo attendance at the launch in Galway with Minister Humphreys and Minister of State Sean Kyne included Kenneth Deery, AIB, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, Mayo County Council, Catherine McConnell, director of services, Mayo County Council, Senator Paddy Burke, Peter Egan, Mayo, Sligo Leitrim ETB, John Magee, Mayo LEO, and Senator Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Andrew Downes/XPOSURE