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Midlands JTF Job Vacancy: Business Development Manager - Midlands Network of Co-working Facilities

Published: 3rd August 2021

Laois County Council, as lead local authority, together with Longford, Offaly and Westmeath Local Authorities, with grant assistance from the National Just Transition Fund, recruiting a Business Development Manager for the Midlands Network for Co-Working Facilities (MNCF).

2 Years Year Fixed Term Contract

The Midlands Network for Co-Working Facilities (MNCF) was formed in 2019, comprising of over 20 facilities, where the co-working facility is defined as being an e-working centre, enterprise centre and incubation/ innovation hub. Plans are underway to increase this number of co- working facilities throughout the region. To realise this regional ambition we are appointing a Regional Business Development Manager (BDM) to drive the expansion and development of co-working facilities within the region and to explore partnerships for the development of strategic sites throughout the region.

The MNCF provides as a unique opportunity for region to:

• provide an alternative work space for the 24,000 people who commute from the region on a daily basis for work or college
• Provide a landing space of scale for city based businesses who wish to establish a second site in a more competitively priced location
• Stimulate communities through the development of new and enhancement of existing facilities to regenerate communities as we transition to a low carbon regional economy.
• Ecosystem for the development of start-ups by clients of co-working facilities
• Facilities in which to engage in blended learning closer to where people live

To realise these opportunities, the region is appointing a dedicated Business Development Manager.

The Role:
The Regional BDM will be responsible for the co-ordination of the MNCF, supporting the development of co-working facilities throughout respective counties. The BDM will engage with facility managers on a regular basis, organise peer to peer learning events, develop and progress collaborative actions, whilst utilising the MNCF to support the work of the enterprise agencies and the LEOs to deliver 600 desk spaces throughout the Midland region, accommodate client site visits, participate in county and regional networking events including county and regional ‘speed dating events’.

The BDM will engage with the Technological University of the Shannon – Midlands Midwest, Institute of Technology Carlow, and the Midlands Regional Skills Forum to facilitate the provision of upskilling and reskilling through the facilities of the MNCF.

MNCF meetings are held on a quarterly basis and are attended by regional stakeholders in the interests of exchange of information and regional capacity building in terms of co-working facilities.

The Regional Business Development Manager will have responsibility for the following:

• Contribute to the development of national remote working policy
• Support and contribute to the development of National Association of Community & Enterprise Centres national quality standards for co-working facilities
• Work with stakeholders locally, regionally, nationally
• Explore strategic partnerships to develop landing space of scale (200+desks per facility) in the region
• Liaison with the regeneration Units of the Local Authorities of Laois, Longford, Offaly & Westmeath
• Advance the provision of 600 co-working desks across the region
• Assist with the development of public co-working facilities and project proposals in the respective counties and on a regional basis
• Co-ordination of the MNCF
• Development and implementation of annual work programme
• Organise regional networking events on a quarterly basis
• Nurture and foster collaborative economic opportunities between clients of the facilities
• Develop and roll out a regional online booking system
• Collectively market public and private facilities within the region under the MidlandsIreland.ie brand
• Explore outreach training for member facilities and develop relationships with education service providers
• Increase occupancy rates of existing facilities, which have capacity
• Bring forward local issues / challenges and opportunities for consideration by the MNCF.
• Establish a procurement framework for service provision to members of the MNCF
• Undertake facility energy audits and identify suitable funding streams to cover costs of recommended works
• Explore the possibility of developing a social clause framework for identifying retrofitting measures as proposed by audits, for Bord na Mona former employees who have undertaken Retrofitting Training at the Solas NZEB Training Centre, which is co-located with the National Construction Training Centre in Mount Lucas, County Offaly.
• Facilitate site visits of enterprise agencies with potential clients to MNCF facilities
• Build capacity and knowledge base of members with ‘lunch & learn’ events
• Ensure compliance with terms and conditions of National Just Transition Funding, including the preparation of recoupment claims
• Source supplementary funding, account for such funds, and manage any projects arising from such funds
• Develop a self-financing model from year 3+
• Meet the agreed KPI’s

Location: The office of the BDM will be based in Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise, County Laois.

In line with current Government guidance, it is likely that the successful candidate will commence in this role while working from home. However, this may change in line with future Government guidance and policies on Blended Working being introduced.

Laois County Council is an equal opportunities employer.

Visit Laois County Council Website for more details and Application Form:


Closing date for receipt of applications: 12 noon 27th August 2021. 

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