Read about our case studies to see that no matter your business, your scale or your ambition, the Midlands is a great location for you to grow. From the global multinationals, to early stage start-ups – our Region is filled with award-winning businesses that are proud to call the Midlands home.
IMR – Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) is an independent manufacturing and industrial energy efficiency research centre focused on delivering solutions for the manufacturing ecosystem throughout Ireland.
In 2017 they opened IMR Mullingar, with 45 employees to support the expansion of the research roadmap into areas including Additive Manufacturing, Machining and Robotics. IMR successfully developed a state-of-the-art new industrial R&D lab in Mullingar. In partnership with a cluster of Irish SMEs, they created a unique national facility supporting high-TRL industry focused research in a ‘factory’ environment.
CEO of IMR Barry Kennedy believes there is a global need to transform how we think about manufacturing and they are doing massive research on sustainability.
The first IMR Manufacturing and Supply Chain awards were held in 2022, the first awards programme to exclusively focus on the manufacturing sector, and highlighting the performance of the outstanding teams driving their success
“It’s the first time I have been treated as an individual”.
Dorothy Coyle is the Ambassador from Lough Ree Access for all and you may recognize her face as she Dorothy is known for her ‘starring’ role in the National Lottery advert after ‘Lough Ree Access for All’ received investment from ‘The Good cause’ fund.
“I am a person now! Because I can get on this boat in a dignified manner, I can be like everybody else!”
She see the moment of the opening of the new centre and ‘changing places’ bathroom as her ‘proudest moment’ –For an able-bodied person, a toilet facility is not something to think about when planning a day out, but for a wheelchair user it is Top of the list!
The ‘Changing places facility’ is designed by Dorothy with adjustable sink, a place to shower, a place to lie-down and plenty of space and privacy for 2 people
To book online go to www.loughreeboattrips.com or by telephoning (089)2625505 / (043) 3321734any day of the week. The Access boat sails from the north pier in Ballyleague seven days a week at 10 am, 12 noon and 2.30 pm. 9 people fit on the boat and there is room for 2 motorised wheelchairs and 3 manual with 3 carers. The trip is 1hr 30 (45mins each way). 1 person with carer costs 20 euro. The Changing places facility has a moveable sink, a place to shower, with privacy for 2 people
Lough Ree Access For All CLG is working with its partners Waterways Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland, Failte Ireland, Roscommon & Longford County Council & The Just Transition Fund of Ireland on this project to improve access for people with disability to the rivers and lakes.
Mersus Technologies, based in Athlone, create Virtual and Augmented Reality training programmes for some of the world’s leading companies in industries including Med Tech and Aviation. Their Avatar Academy won the New Frontiers category in The Irish Times Innovation Awards and you can see why global companies are increasingly calling the Midlands home.
Founder, Geoffrey Allen credits their success to their people, and a culture that’s driven by curiosity and diversity, “to imagine the impossible and then make it happen”.
Their ‘deliberately developmental’ approach, and innovative, world-leading technologies, are breaking new ground in the area of VR/AR with talent and skills to rival Dublin’s Silicon Docks or any location globally. Companies are becoming increasingly attracted by the lower cost of living and better quality of life in the Midlands, as well as the established and thriving tech sector in the town of Athlone and surrounds.
What a venue! When Minister Damien English came to visit Laois he was astounded by the tourist potential of Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery and hinted that small business could easily set up here as a central location.
The award winning Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery is located just 2kms from Stradbally County Laois in a beautifully landscaped 18th century stone farmyard and stable yard in the heart of Ireland. They grow barley and now have a newly opened visitor centre.
They have won a Boortmalt barley grower award, and the first ever Best Barley Cup for Waterford Distillery growers. With the opening of a brewery, they are now able to use their award-winning barley to produce their own beers. The hops are harvested in early October each year and they use them to brew their own Fresh Hopped pale ale, where all the barley, water and hops are sourced from within 500m of the brewery. They have won 6 medals in the 2019 Dublin Craft Beer Cup.
“You really want to live in a place where the sense of community is very strong!” Luiz Roque is the Business Manager of Co:worx. Originally from Brazil, he moved here with his Irish wife to start a family. He was heartened to see what can be achieved when communities and local government join forces!
The Business Hub came about after the beautiful heritage building of Ulster Bank was repurposed into a facility that will serve generations to come.
Inside it is state of the art with plenty of office space, hot desks, sealed booths for privacy, conference rooms, kitchen facilities, a meeting room and a podcast studio.
Just over 100km from Dublin, Edgeworthstown has benefited from it’s location, close to the M4 and also served by a mainline train station.
“People in Ireland aren’t aware of the amount of funding and support that’s out there for them.” (Ruairi Dooley BiaSol)
When brother and sister Ruari (31) and Niamh Dooley (28) were little they never go on! With tales of ‘Barbie haircutting’ and ‘soap on toothbrushes’, it’s hard to believe the Tullamore based brother and sister now run a successful business together called BiaSol.
“I always said by the age of 30 I would have my own business” says Ruari who used to sell Mixtape CDs to his friends in school for a fiver. BiaSol was formed during lockdown when Ruari was in Australia, running a successful venture and Niamh had just finished her Food Science Degree. Over Zoom calls they began to build their idea of creating a food product that would address people’s nutritional needs while being sustainable and green. Focusing on grain Ruari was Inspired by ‘cricket flour’ in Australia where crickets use 500 times less land and water than cattle, but with the same amount of protein. With evidence that there’s a lot of protein and fibre left in grain [after being used in the beer brewing process] they started to formulate the idea for Super Milled Grains.
“It was very 50/50” said Ruari, “we couldn’t have done it without each other!” While Niamh was back home doing lean business and mentoring courses with Local Enterprise and Acorn, Ruari was applying for grants. So, when start-up funding of €50,000 came from Enterprise Ireland, and Local Enterprise Offaly granted them €10,000-15,000, Ruari decided to come home to the midlands.
He can’t understand why people in Ireland are unaware of the amount of support and funding available for start-ups. “If people could see beyond the paperwork, “think more on sustainability and innovation there would be more uptake”. They have high praise for the continued support from Local Enterprise Offaly who encourage them to display at shows including the recent Tullamore Show.
Super Milled Grains is a nutritional supplement made from light malt, dark malt and whole grains. The dark malt comes from stout beer and BiaSol collects spent grains from breweries close to its base in Tullamore: including Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery in Co Laois, St Mel’s Brewery in Co Longford, and Dead Centre Brewing in Athlone.
The product, which can be added to soups, smoothies, porridge and cereal, is now available in close to 100 health shops. Their Protein Pancakes are a big seller at Donnybrook Fair, their Cookie mix does very well in Avoca and their Bread Mix has become a finalist at Blas na hEireann Awards.
By the end of October, they aim to raise €400,000 to help grow it’s team, and get Super Milled Grains into health stores in the UK. They also want to expand into Supervalu and Centra which would mean almost 700 stores. The company is now forecasting sales of 1million euros in 2024.
Lee Williamson moved to Lanesborough from Scotland where he runs his own Media Production company called ‘Shuttermaniac’.
He is a Commercial Photographer and Filmmaker promoting the Arts, Tourism, and Business.
This video includes extracts from his award-winning short film Snámh (Swim).
A look inside the award winning bakery that makes everything fresh.
Their wholegrain sourdough recently won a Silver Award in the World Bread Awards.
The artisan bakery at the heart of Abbeyleix sources all their produce locally and they also stock Laois Taste Products.