More than 60 high-end science and technology research jobs, as well as 55 construction jobs, will be created at the new 20,000 sq-foot Science Park building at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), representing a €4.5m investment.
Plans for the new facility in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, include the provision 13 new business units and significant research space.
The target is the facility will support more than 60 high-end jobs. There are also hopes for the development of three cross-border clusters (involving Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland) and that the facility will help secure one additional FDI project into the north-west of Ireland each year.
The initiative, in tandem with a similar facility in Derry City, is a cross-border project, co-funded by the EU’s Regional Development Fund through the Interreg IVA Programme, by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and by the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel.
The new facility will enhance the development of science, research and innovation in the north-west region.
The new building will serve as an extension to the existing and successful CoLab facility at LYIT, which houses 28 companies employing more than 100 graduate-level employees. CoLab provides a supportive environment to enable these companies to grow and benefit from co-operation with the academic community and students on the LYIT campus. In this way, CoLab contributes to the development of an innovation ecosystem within the north-west, leading to the rejuvenation of the regional economy.
Planning permission for the new facility was granted within the last few weeks and the preliminary site works have just begun. The main contract for the construction of the new building is expected to be signed later this month, work will then begin immediately, with completion due by mid-2015.
Boosting job creation in the border regions
“The border region was particularly badly hit by the employment collapse from 2008-2010, with more than 30,000 jobs lost. In Donegal, particularly, more than 10,000 extra people joined the live register,” said Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
“In the past three years, we have started to see some progress, with 2,000 people leaving the live register and 500 additional people employed in IDA companies in the county. Across the border region an extra 14,000 jobs have been created in the past year.
“However, we must do more, and that is why in the 2014 Action Plan we are putting in place measures like establishing Local Enterprise Offices in every county, advance IDA facilities in places like Letterkenny, and a competition to find the best young entrepreneur in every county.
“Today’s announcement that, with support from my department and the EU, a state-of-the-art new 20,000 sq-foot Science Park will be built at LYIT is a great lift. I am convinced that this will prove a huge boost for research and innovation in the border region and ultimately help turn good ideas into good jobs,” Bruton added.
Researcher image via Shutterstock