Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Regional Development Initiatives
303. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 1013 of 23 July 2019, when construction will commence on the MERITS enterprise hub development in Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37089/19]
The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is an initiative of my Department, administered on the Department’s behalf by Enterprise Ireland. The competitive Fund is aimed at driving enterprise development and job creation in all regions in the country through supporting collaborative and innovative projects that develop enterprises and create jobs in each of the regions. The Fund complements the Regional Enterprise Plans which I launched earlier this year.
Call 1 of the REDF was launched in 2017 and funded 21 projects with a total of just over €30 million. A second call launched in April 2018 and allocated just over €29 million across a further 21 projects. I launched Call 3 in June of this year, with an additional €45 million, which will close for applications on September 25th.
The MERITS hub is one of the projects funded under Call 1 of the REDF. The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) located in Naas County Kildare is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies and provide them with mentorship and support. The project is supported by strong collaboration with Kildare County Council, Maynooth University/ MaynoothWorks, Kildare Chamber and the three Mid East LEOs (Kildare, Meath & Wicklow).
I am informed through Kildare Co. Council that site clearance works have been completed and that Kildare Co. Council expects to make an announcement in relation to the outcome of the construction tender process in the coming days, with the build works commencing immediately on confirmation. The project is on target for completion and occupation in Q3 2020 in line with the anticipated timeline.