Written answers

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Regional Development

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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30. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment further to Parliamentary Question No. 18 of 23 November 2023, the status of the implementation of the west regional enterprise plan to 2024; the date of all meetings to-date of the steering group; to provide an update on the most recent meeting of the steering group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5481/24]

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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Gabhaim buíochas leis an gcoiste sin as plean fiontair an iarthair.

Achieving balanced regional development is a priority for this Government and is reflected in the White Paper on Enterprise. My Department aims to contribute to this goal through the work of its Enterprise Agencies, Local Enterprise Offices and the development, implementation and oversight of nine Regional Enterprise Plans (REPs).

Each REP is implemented by a Steering Committee comprising regional stakeholders. Evelyn O'Toole is Chair of the West REP Steering Committee, and, together with Programme Manager Helena Deane, is driving implementation on the ground and I wish to acknowledge their incredible work and dedication over the course of the West REP, from ideation to implementation.

I attended the most recent meeting of the West Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee on 20 June 2023 and good progress continues to be made in delivering on the strategic objectives of the Plan. The meeting took place in the BIA Innovator Campus in Athenry, a magnificent facility that was officially launched last month. At that last Steering Committee meeting, the Programme Manager updated members on the activities of the BIA Innovator, followed by a presentation by Creative Enterprise West, CREW, on the potential for the creative industries in the west. There was also a spotlight on the experience economy and sustainable tourism led by Údaras na Gaeltachta and WestBIC.

Since the West REP was launched, the Steering Committee also met on 15 June 2022 and 29 November 2022. The next meeting is provisionally scheduled for Friday 1 March 2024.

In addition to the above meetings, the Chair, along with the other REP chairs and key enterprise stakeholders, attended a meeting of the REP National Oversight Group on 26 October 2023, which was jointly chaired by myself, and Ministers Coveney and Richmond.

The Deputy may also be interested to know that my officials are currently reviewing nine REP progress reports which will document implementation to the end of Q3 2023. These reports are expected to be published in Q1 this year.


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