The Irish Government is to invest €250m in eight regional locations in Ireland in a bid to greater spread job growth around the country.
The €250m is made up of €100m in Enterprise Ireland funding and €150m in IDA capital investment funding.
The plan acknowledges how each part of the country enjoys its own merits and challenges, with industrial clusters specific to each region.
There’s the med-tech industry in the West, pharma business booming in the south-east and south-west, and IT outstripping all in Dublin and the surrounding region. There’s also agri-food and tourism elsewhere, each playing pivotal roles to regional development.
So the plan seems to be to target each area on its own merit, and devise a strategy to improve the employment environment in a more tailor made way.
Figure of eight
The announcement today highlighted the local need for innovative thought when it comes to this investment. Dubbed ‘Regional’, today’s plan splits Ireland into eight.
- South-east: Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford, Waterford
- South-west: Kerry and Cork
- Mid-west: Clare, North Tipperary, Limerick
- West: Mayo, Roscommon, Galway
- Midlands: Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath
- Border: Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo
- Mid-east: Kildare, Meath, Wicklow
“The objective of the new initiative is to strengthen and develop job creation in the regions by encouraging local authorities, regional bodies, higher education institutions, other public bodies, the private sector and communities to come forward with innovative ideas to boost job creation in their area,” reads the report.
Enterprise Ireland’s €100m is earmarked for new competitive funding initiatives in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, enterprise infrastructure and job creation.
The IDA’s subsequent €150m will continue the current model of building infrastructure to secure both indigenous and foreign direct investment.
Three advanced manufacturing facilities are planned for Castlebar, Tralee and Sligo this year, with business and technology parks also planned across the lifetime of the plan.
A good spread
Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said over the past three years, 80,000 extra jobs have been created across the country, with well over half of these jobs located outside Dublin. “However, many people have not yet felt the benefits, and some regions are experiencing faster jobs growth than others.
“That is why, as part of our plan to deliver sustainable full employment, we are putting in place this new strategy to accelerate jobs growth in towns and villages across the country.
“Part of this of course is ensuring that IDA has property solutions in place to help attract more investment to every region.”
A framework for the funding has already been drafted.
Map of Ireland via Shutterstock