150 tech jobs for border counties in ‘Digital Corridor’

2 Apr 2004

The Armagh Monaghan Digital Corridor is planning to create 150 new technology jobs over the next two years on the back of high speed broadband connectivity in the region, the cross-border initiative revealed today at the opening of a new 2,000 square metre business centre in Monaghan.

The Armagh Monaghan Digital Corridor is a cross-border business corridor linking the counties of Armagh and Monaghan, through business centres known as a:tek and m:tek, located in Armagh and Monaghan respectively. These dynamic centres have some of the most advanced accommodation designed for technology businesses in Ireland. AMDC has to date attracted start-up as well as established technology businesses, including: Datacare, CBM Limited, WebWorks, D20 Ireland, Emode, Dairystock.com, Monaghan County Enterprise Board and Monaghan County Enterprise Fund.

The cross-border agency, the Armagh-Monaghan Digital Corridor (AMDC), is credited with creating over 500 jobs in the region based on plans to establish a broadband corridor linking the two counties. Already, some 380 call centre posts have been created in the past year by Answer Call Direct and a further 120 technology jobs at southern companies Eblana and Datacare.

AMDC was established four years ago with £2m sterling in funding from Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Interreg II, Monaghan County Enterprise Board, Monaghan County Council, Armagh City and District Council, Armagh Economic Development Group, Co-Operation Ireland and the International Fund for Ireland.

In the year ahead AMDC will be introducing a supercomputing pilot programme and a broadband initiative, both of which will be aimed at assisting local businesses, particularly SMEs in the region. The supercomputing project aims to encourage companies through Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to be at the forefront of High Performance Technology. AMDC are continuously developing the services they can offer to existing and potential tenants and one such initiative is the Hot Desk Satellite Working Service, which enables an employee to locate to the Armagh or Monaghan region, whilst continuing to work for their city-based employer in Belfast or Dublin.

“The official opening of the m:tek facility is the next stage of development for AMDC in bringing advanced ICT opportunities to the region. Future developments in Broadband, Supercomputing, and Satellite Working Services will ensure the ‘Silicon Orchard’ blossoms and ensure a viable technology economy that benefits the whole region”, said Bernard Conlon, Business Development Manager, AMDC.

Minister for Communications, Dermot Ahern TD, who launched the new business centre today, commented: “The rollout of broadband in the Border region is very significant in terms of attracting inward investment. I believe government funding of broadband in Cavan, Monaghan and Louth will dramatically improve this region’s attractiveness for investment. Initiatives such as the Armagh Monaghan Digital Corridor have illustrated just what can be achieved on the ground and I applaud their success to date in driving the technology economy in the region.”

By John Kennedy