Business Irish

Wednesday 27 August 2014

CoLAB: Science and business incubation park to create 60 jobs in north-west

Greg Harkin in Letterkenny

Published 01/05/2014 | 10:00

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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton

SIXTY jobs will be created when a new science and business park expansion is completed, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton announced this morning.

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Work on the CoLab development at Letterkenny IT has already started as the Minister acknowledged the Border region and Donegal in particular had been badly affected by the recession.

“The border region was particularly badly hit by the employment collapse 2008-2010 with over 30,000 jobs lost, and in Donegal particularly more than 10,000 extra people joined the live register,” he told independent.ie.

“In the past three years we have started to see some progress, with 2,000 people leaving the live register and 500 additional people employed in IDA companies in the county. Across the border region an extra 14,000 jobs have been created in the past year.”

Today’s investment is being supported financially by both national and European funds and is part of a cross-Border initiative with Derry.

At an Action For Jobs meeting at Letterkenny’s Station House Hotel this morning, the Minister told more than 100 business leaders from across the North West that enterprises created jobs not governments.

“There was never going to be a sound economic future in selling houses to each other,” said Minister Bruton.

He also warned that just 23pc of new businesses were trading online and more needed to do so.

“I can tell those who haven’t started trading online that if you don’t you will soon see someone else eating your lunch.”

Donegal Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh, who hosted today’s series of meetings, said the 60 jobs would be created quickly.

“We have already seen our partners in Derry quickly filling up their science park as soon as construction was announced and I am confident many more jobs will follow here in Donegal,” he told independent.ie.

“This Government made a commitment to invest in this North West cross-border project between Letterkenny and Derry and today's job announcement, along with the original €4.5m commitment is a further demonstration of that commitment.

“Since 2011, there have been an additional 600 IDA-supported jobs created in Donegal and it is essential that we keep building on this momentum because unemployment is so prominent in the county.”

Minister Bruton said a key part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs is supporting job-creation across all the regions of the country.

But his colleagues faced criticism from local entrepreneurs over infrastructure in Donegal, the delays in the A5 project and the new €12-per-day road tax levy on HGV vehicles from the Republic entering the North.

Marine and fishery industry representatives also criticised Simon Coveney over the delays in the issue in aquaculture licences.

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