More gains in regional employment possible – Minister Humphreys
Published: 16th April 2018
Minister Humphreys announces second call for proposals under €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced that she would be making a further €30 million available through a Second Call for Proposals under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF).
As announced at the recent launch of Project Ireland 2040, the Fund will now operate on a rolling basis through the National Development Plan. It is administered for Minister Humphreys’ Department by the State Agency, Enterprise Ireland.
The announcement was made by Minister Humphreys at Farmleigh House, Dublin where she met with the Chairpersons and representatives from the Regional Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committees to discuss new priority initiatives for the Regional Action Plans over the period to 2020.
Minister Humphreys praised the significant contribution each Regional Committee has made to date, as well as their ongoing commitment to the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative:
“The Regional Action Plans for Jobs have made real progress and there has been significant improvement in regional employment levels since 2015. Collaboration between the private and the public sector has been key, and I want to thank the Committees and their Chairpersons for their invaluable work and service.
“We have done a lot but working together we can achieve more. Today marks the start of our ‘refresh and refocus’ of the Regional Action Plans, as we bring together key figures from industry and the public sector to share their ideas on the strategic regional priorities we should now focus on to 2020.”
Announcing the opening of the Second Call under the €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund, the Minister added:
“In December, I was delighted to announce the award of €30.5m to 21 collaborative projects right across the country. Now that the Second Call is open, I look forward to seeing many more exciting, innovative initiatives to drive employment creation in our regions.
“Under this Fund, each region will secure a minimum of €2 million once projects meet the required standard. There is an opportunity here for regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region’s unique strengths. This is all with a view to enhancing the enterprise and job creation potential in their region.”
Also addressing the event, the Minister State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said:
“The Regional Action Plans for Jobs have provided a structure for collaboration so that individual Counties can work together, harness collective abilities to support enterprise growth, and respond to economic challenges. The €60 million Regional Enterprise Development Fund builds on and supports this structure. It puts regional investment into the hands of local stakeholders, and encourages local groups to develop and drive enterprise growth and employment opportunities in their own communities.”
Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said:
“When the Regional Action Plan for Jobs was launched, we strengthened our commitment to improving employment opportunities in all areas of the country by making substantial additional funds available through the enterprise agencies out to 2020. This Fund will support industry clustering, which will enable knowledge transfer, innovation and collaboration among organisations, and ultimately create more job opportunities in the regions”.
CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon said:
“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is an effective mechanism for supporting regional development and the regional business eco-system, helping to create and sustain jobs in the regions. The first call stimulated more than 75 applications, from which 21 regional projects were awarded competitive funding totalling €30.5 million, following a rigorous evaluation process. We anticipate a similar level of interest in this second call and look forward to working with regional stakeholders on more innovative proposals to build scale at regional level, which is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland. The call opens for applications on 16th April and closes on 28th June 2018.”