€5m regional jobs drive includes digital hub and games corridor

1 Jun 2016

Trim Castle, County Meath. A digital media hub in Meath and a gaming corridor for the mid-west and south-west regions are among regional jobs projects supported by €5m in funding from Enterprise Ireland

A Digital Media Hub in Meath, as well as a Digital Media and Gaming Corridor linking mid-west and south-east regions, are among some of the novel projects to gain support from a new €5m funding package to support 48 regional job-creation projects across Ireland.

The €5m is aimed at “bottom-up” projects where Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) will join forces with community organisations working on job creation initiatives.

For the Local Enterprise Offices, 16 projects (out of 50 proposals) will receive €2m in funding for collaborations in the local region.

For the community organisations, some €3m will be awarded to 32 projects.

‘Every parish, county and region knows it has particular strengths that can create jobs’

Given the level of interest under the first two calls, Enterprise Ireland will issue another call for proposals in Q3 of this year.

Bringing growth home

Among the LEO awards is a midlands engineering cluster, a south-east artisan food initiative to support food exporters in five counties, and a project to develop a digital media and gaming corridor linking the mid-west and south-east regions.

The Community Enterprise Initiative Scheme projects include Enterprise Goal, a collaboration to harness the GAA as a vehicle for community enterprise development; funding for Meath Enterprise Centre, which will drive the development of a food innovation and research centre and a digital media hub, and Dungarvan Enterprise Centre, which will serve start-ups and early-stage firms in the south-east.

“Every parish, county and region knows it has particular strengths that can create jobs,” the newly-appointed Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said.

“The Government is committed to supporting that effort. In my first few weeks as minister, I am impressed by the commitment of everyone involved in the Regional Action Plans for Jobs.

“Local and regional organisations, public and private, have committed to work together in the drive for jobs and to create the opportunities for people to live and work in their local communities. I am determined to support these regions to help them to achieve their potential and their ambition. In that regard, I am particularly pleased that Enterprise Ireland will issue a second call later this year and work with interested groups to deliver quality projects in their regions.”

New approvals under LEO Competitive Fund

Local Enterprise Offices Collaborating Initiative Approved for Funding
LEO Wicklow, LEO Tipperary, LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO Kilkenny Consolidate a creative hub in the south-eastern region through an extensive networking and training programme for established SMEs and start-ups servicing the creative industries.
LEO Cork North/West, LEO South Cork, LEO Cork City, LEO Kerry Develop a graduate programme, placing high-performing graduates in micro-enterprises for a 12-month accredited assignment in order to support the accelerated growth of the hosting business. The placement will form part of existing master’s programmes and will span a range of disciplines.
LEO Donegal, LEO Sligo, LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Monaghan, LEO Louth ACCELINVEST will be to create a clear pathway for export-focused, investment-ready regional companies to progress from the LEO Network to Enterprise Ireland.
LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wexford, LEO Kilkenny, LEO Carlow A south-east artisan food initiative to establish a cluster of fledgeling food exporters across five counties and develop the export capability of a selection of artisan food clients
LEO Kilkenny, LEO Carlow, LEO Wicklow The EMBARK programme will proactively prepare small businesses, identified by the LEOs as having potential for growth and export, to exploit new export opportunities.
LEO Mayo, LEO Roscommon, LEO Galway iFactory West aims to scale up 30 companies with growth potential across the west region through an intensive innovation programme suited to their individual needs.
LEO Wexford, LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wicklow LEO Kilkenny, LEO Carlow, LEO Kildare, LEO Laois A pilot programme that will offer carefully selected micro-enterprises with growth ambitions the opportunity to benefit from concentrated support from the dedicated advisory panel of three experts per enterprise.
LEO Westmeath, LEO Laois, LEO Offaly, LEO Longford The Midlands Engineering Cluster Programme is a structured programme of market-led innovation, best practice transfer and product and trade development. It will create a new synergy between engineering enterprises; educational institutions and support agencies in the region that will aid their sustainability.
LEO Fingal, LEO Dublin City, LEO South Dublin, LEO Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown This project is targeted at the Dublin food producer cohort and focuses on the creation of an online video education platform to enhance knowledge, improve skill sets and develop producer competencies.
LEO Offaly, LEO Westmeath, LEO Longford, LEO Laois The Midlands One-to-Two Growth Initiative will break down inherent job creation obstacles by assisting carefully selected solo entrepreneurs from across the midlands in overcoming the legal, regulatory and administrative barriers to adopting employer status, thus stimulating new employment creation and business expansion.
LEO Sligo, LEO Donegal The main objectives of the programme will be to increase the business potential and expertise of promoters, to foster innovation and know-how, increase turnover and sales and to equip participants to trade in new markets.
LEO Tipperary, LEO Wicklow Develop a strong Digital Media and Gaming corridor linking the mid-eest and the south and east regions, building on existing strengths, heighten awareness of the potential of the creative industries and assist in diversifying the current employment base.
LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Longford, LEO Roscommon The Graduate Internship for Entrepreneurship Programme. Through this programme, graduates will be connected with full-time, paid internship centred on a two way skills transfer – graduates will transfer new skills and approaches, employers will transfer entrepreneurial learning and experience of running/managing a business.
LEO Leitrim, LEO Cavan, LEO Longford, LEO Roscommon This initiative will provide the opportunity for shared learning, dynamic trade development and knowledge transfer in the creative sector which will result in job creation and greater sustainability of the often challenged creative sector with a specific emphasis on the craft sector.
LEO Tipperary, LEO Waterford, LEO Wexford, LEO Carlow, LEO Kilkenny This programme will explore the potential for higher levels of innovation, entrepreneurship, and productivity in agricultural technology (AgTech)
LEO Galway, LEO Mayo, LEO Roscommon This will create a gateway to the lucrative London market for West-based micro food and drinks enterprises, through a shared co-opetition logistics and market development model.


New approvals under the Community Enterprise Initiative

Community Enterprise Initiative Description of Project
An Tsli Ghlas – the Green Way To scale-up a pre-acceleration programme for cleantech and sustainability firms with follow-on support on how to scale-up their business.
S.C.C.U.L. Enterprises To further develop a national panel of voluntary mentors to support the development of micro-business.
Meath Enterprise Centre Company To develop a food innovation and research centre and a digital media hub while continuing to manage, promote and develop existing facilities, projects and initiatives.
Limerick City Build (Regen) Limerick City Build Ltd (LCB) provides direct employment, bespoke training, and employment placement and enterprise incubation facilities for those who are longer term unemployed.
The Ballymun Partnership Social innovation for community regeneration via new solutions.
Opportunity in a Million Establishment of the HQ 100Mb Super-speed Enterprise Hub – a smart technology incubator in Monksland, with ‘hands-on’ support aimed at fostering enterprise and jobs in new/growth sectors in collaboration with local partners.
Ballyhoura Development Development and management of a community-led cluster of food enterprise activities and infrastructure
Action Community & Enterprise This project will be the catalyst for real change in the local community, ensuring that a tangible and effective ‘ecosystem of enterprise’ is enhanced and embedded in Dublin west.
The Dublin Commissioner for Startups Office Startup your English Pilot: a package of services to attract young (non-native English speakers) developers to work for start-ups in Dublin.
The DCU Ryan Academy Ireland’s first incubator and co-working space for ‘connected hardware’ entrepreneurs and start-ups, will constitute a refurbished floor of Innovation House approx 8000 sq ft in size. There will be 80-plus co-working spaces/benches plus a central hardware workspace catering for individual entrepreneurs and small teams.
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Enterprise-Goal is an innovative collaborative partnership established by GMIT, National GAA Community Development Urban and Rural Work Group, Galway County GAA Board and Communities Creating Jobs (CCJ) to develop an Enterprise-Goal Network in order to harness the GAA as a vehicle for enterprise development in our communities.
Tipperary Culinary Delights Company Feasibility to assess the viability of a Food Centre of Excellence in Tipperary
Galway Chamber of Commerce and Industry The PorterShed will be a vibrant technology hub and co-working space as the first step towards a Galway City Innovation District.
Ferbane Business and Technology Park This application is for matching funding to facilitate the continued development of employment-generation opportunities in Ferbane and west Offaly in the food sector through an expansion of activities.
Dungarvan Enterprise Centre South-East Shared Asset collaborative project aims to expand the range of facilities and services available to start-up and growth stage enterprises in the south-east region, while maximising the assets of each participating Community Enterprise Centre (CEC) and enhancing links with other support agencies such as chambers, area partnerships, local authorities and LEOs.
U-Casadh Social enterprise offering all members of the community and, in particular, unemployed, ex-prisoners and the most disenfranchised members of the community, stabilisation, training and education, sheltered employment and enterprise opportunities for the people furthest from the labour market
Irish Smart Ageing Exchange To conduct a detailed feasibility study –for establishing three key elements of the wider Smart Ageing Exchange.
Design Island Initiative and Crafts Council of Ireland Development and launch of mentoring and education programme for the design start-ups in a new design incubation centre in Dublin.  Further development of clusters to engage and support design activities in the creative industries.
Offaly Innovation and Design Centre To recruit a dedicated business development manager and to create a fab lab and further office space, thereby connecting design with prototyping/batch manufacturing.
Love Castlebar Community Project Community Creative Hub will provide a unique regional innovation eco-system based on the ‘dream-learn-make-grow’ principles. The project is a maker space for local innovators, artists and entrepreneurs to create, launch and scale exciting new ventures.
Kilkee Tourism Kilkee Geocentre Enterprise Facility.  This centre will have a training facility and hotdesk facility to foster entrepreneurs in the locality.  The educational facility has the capacity to expand its educational offering beyond geology to ornithology, botany and archaeology
Kantoher Development Group Put in place a full-time business development executive to drive economic activity around a cluster of community enterprise centres in the west Limerick area, namely Kantoher Business Park, Broadford Enterprise Centre, and the Red Door Business Incubation Centre, with a particular focus on the opportunities that can be created in the agrifood and agritech sector
International Aviation Services Centre and Shannon Commercial Properties Development of a facility for the setting up of the Aerospace and Aviation Enterprise and Incubation Centre in Shannon, offering facilities and support to entrepreneurs and start-up companies
I.R.D. Kiltimagh Ltd Supporting entrepreneurship and existing business in the Kiltimagh area. The projects also involve a national component led on behalf of NACEC to raise awareness of what CECs nationally can do to support a project as a means of stimulating a pipeline of entrepreneurs and new business start-ups.
Hospital Food Units Ltd In Autumn 2013, Andersen Ireland Ltd announced 169 redundancies and that its business in Rathkeale, Co Limerick was going into liquidation. Innovate Limerick are now applying to Enterprise Ireland for grant assistance towards the cost of sub-dividing the former Andersen Factory into incubation and enterprise space.
Enniscorthy Enterprise and Technology Centre This project intends to expand the level of services of Enniscorthy Enterprise and Technology Centre, by creating an Innovative Hub within the enterprise centre where innovative start-ups can work together and receive mentoring from the centre’s staff.
Creative Spark Ltd This project seeks to support the employment of a skilled manager who will implement a strategic collaboration programme between Creative Spark and Millmount Development Centre to scale up enterprise development supports; to undertake a feasibility study into establishing a FabLab for Co Louth, and to participate in a series of collaborative actions with NACEC
Coolock Development Council Stimulating and supporting enterprise and job creation in the north Dublin area with a specific focus on fostering an entrepreneurial culture within disadvantaged areas.
Ballinasloe Area Community Development Management of community projects to create and sustain employment and economic growth in Ballinasloe and its surrounding hinterland
Bailieborough Development Association Expansion of business activities. Offering advice to business on funding opportunities, training programmes, business development, networking etc. Expanding the existing state-of-the-art business facilities through the development and renovation of the Bailieborough Courthouse.
Arklow Business Enterprise Centre There are plans to develop the centre to support a call centre business, to convert space to provide a commercial kitchen and a hotdesk location in the centre.
Convoy Enterprise Centre


The development of an online fulfilment and distribution hub to empower indigenous Irish companies to sell directly across the European Union.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years