Regional investment key milestone in recovery: Taoiseach
The investment of €320m for the Border, Midland and Western Region represents "a key milestone" in securing recovery for all of Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
The investment package will bring high-speed broadband to 140,000 households and support 16,000 small and medium businesses.
Mr Kenny said the fund would create "valuable jobs across the region" and was an essential part of plans to reach full employment by 2018.
The plan, which will run for the next six years, is expected to create 3,600 jobs in directly-supported enterprises.
It will focus on stimulating jobs, driving innovation and supporting SMEs and will be supervised by the Northern and Western Regional Assembly.
It will also see more than 10,000 households benefit from the retrofitting of energy-efficient insulation and other energy-saving improvements.
Mr Kenny said the next two to three years would bring a "massive shift" to high-speed broadband.
"It also means the attractiveness of the entire region is expanded because business can locate anywhere. For instance, the proposal to bring an extra cable across the Atlantic will also, if it comes to fruition, provide an extra benefit in lighting up the entire region for attractiveness for data-content storage facilities like Apple are going to provide in Athenry at an expenditure of €800m," he added.