Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
305. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to businesses and organisations in a town (details supplied) in each of the years 2011 to 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50241/19]
Since becoming Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, I have made jobs and enterprise in the regions one of my top priorities. My Department and enterprise agencies are playing a key role in supporting the creation of sustainable, quality jobs in the regions, including in Co. Westmeath.
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Westmeath is the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and ‘soft’ supports in the form of training and mentoring to anyone wishing to start or grow a business in the area. I announced an extra €5 million in Budget 2019 to enable the LEOs, including LEO Westmeath, to support a broad range of indigenous micro-enterprises.
Along with local enterprise development groups, Enterprise Ireland (EI) has co-funded 164 Community Enterprise Centres (CECs) across the country with payments totalling €44 million. There is now a Community Enterprise Centre located in every county, including Co. Westmeath.
In 2018, 3,564 people were employed in EI supported companies in Co. Westmeath. Between 2016 and 2018, EI paid approximately €4 million to client companies based in Co. Westmeath.
In May 2017, I launched the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), rolled out by EI, with funding of up to €60m, designed to support the ambition, goals, and implementation of the Regional Action Plans for Jobs/Regional Enterprise Plans.
Under Call 1 of the fund, a project in Co. Westmeath, Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) was approved funding. The project will develop in the region a significant and important research and development capability in the areas of Collaborative Robotics and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality.
In addition, there are 21 IDA client companies in County Westmeath employing 3,466 people and since 2012 has witnessed a 44% increase in employment in overseas companies. The County has maintained a strong reputation as a successful home to firms from the Technology and Medical Devices sectors.
A table detailing the funding given by my Department’s Agencies to businesses and organisations in Co. Westmeath is included below.
Agency payments to client companies in Westmeath 2011 to 2018*
* Information on grant amounts for 2019 will not be available until they have been audited by Comptroller and Auditor General in the second quarter of 2020.
** LEOs launched in 2014, figures not available for the years prior to this.