Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment
44. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment if his Department will carry out an immediate review of performance of all relevant State agencies under his remit in respect of the activities of each in County Kerry; if so, if consideration will be given to the outcome of such a review with a view to improving the levels of economic activity and investment in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29604/20]
I can assure the Deputy that both Enterprise Ireland and the IDA have been very active in County Kerry. Supporting balanced regional development is a core objective of the Government and of Enterprise Ireland.In 2019 4,828 people were employed in the 122 Enterprise Ireland supported firms in County Kerry and in the period 2017-2019, Enterprise Ireland paid €12.2 million to manufacturing and internationally traded services clients in Kerry to build scale, innovate and expand their reach.
Under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Enterprise Ireland supported 6 projects in County Kerry to the value of €7.5 million. These projects include the establishment of two Digital Hubs/Incubation Centres, an RDI Hub focused on Financial Services and Engineering, an Agricultural Centre of Excellence, a science and technology talent, skills initiatives, start-up promotion and a food hub. In addition, under the Regional Technology Clustering Scheme, in 2109 Enterprise Ireland approved €600k to 3 projects at the Tralee Institute of Technology.
I also refer to other initiatives to support job creation and enterprise in County Kerry as part of Enterprise Ireland’s Mid-West Plan.
18 IDA client companies employ almost 2,200 people in County Kerry and since 2014, County Kerry has also witnessed an 11% increase in employment in overseas companies with almost 230 net new jobs added during this period.
The IDA is currently working on the formulation of a new strategy that will guide the Agency's work in the period ahead. That new IDA Ireland strategy was due to be launched earlier this year - but was understandably delayed - and it is now hoped to launch the Agency’s new strategy before the end of the year. The strategy will take into account the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenging economic environment for foreign direct investment globally.