Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Job Creation

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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16. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps he is taking to support job creation in regional towns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28807/21]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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Delivering balanced regional growth is a core objective in the Programme for Government.

Overseen by my Department, nine new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 are currently being developed by regional stakeholders which will identify growth opportunities, recognise vulnerabilities, and enable job creation across the regions.

These Plans reinforce and build on the core activities of the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the LEOs and the wider range of State Bodies involved in regional enterprise development. Each Plan is overseen by a Regional Steering Committee chaired by a senior level businessperson. Along with Minister Robert Troy I will drive the delivery of the new Plans nationally. The new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 are expected to be completed in Quarter 3 this year. 

The Government has provided funding to assist enterprise development and regional jobs growth. For example, my Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Fund has allocated over €117 million across 79 enterprise strengthening projects in every region over a series of competitive calls since 2017, through Enterprise Ireland. These Funds enable significant collaborative and innovative regional projects to provide a timely impetus to job creation in regional locations.  

Almost two thirds of new jobs created by Enterprise Ireland client companies in 2020 were in regions outside of Dublin. During 2020 IDA Ireland created 10,082 new jobs outside of Dublin. IDA Ireland’s strategy 2021-2024 targets half of FDI investments overall, as going to regions outside of Dublin. The Local Enterprise Offices continue to provide a first stop shop to individuals who want to start or grow their micro enterprise in every county. Currently there are 35,236 people employed in over 7,500 LEO client companies nationally. The Deputy would be aware of recent moves by Chanelle Pharma to take over the Aptar facility in Ballinasloe, highlighting the attractiveness of our regional towns for job creation.

The Government is also committed to the development of a ‘Town Centre First’ policy focused on regeneration of rural towns and villages.  My Department’s Retail Forum also developed a Framework for Town Centre Renewal which is a useful tool to assist Town Teams in how to improve footfall and customer experience in their towns. Through the Government’s National Planning Framework, the main cities are to develop as viable alternatives to Dublin with funding channeled through Project Ireland 2040.

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