North-West gets EU entrepreneur status
Ireland's Northern and Western region has been named European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2018 by the EU, recognising "enormous strides" the region has taken to foster entrepreneurship and arrest decades of economic decline.
The decision was announced in Brussels yesterday by the EU's Committee of the Regions, which said the region had collectively developed policies that were transforming the area from one of "adversity to advantage".
The award comes at a crucial time as Border areas, in particular, seek to insulate themselves from the effects of Brexit.
The Northern and Western region consists of eight counties - Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan.
It will take over as European Entrepreneurial Region from Lisbon, Portugal. Previous holders include Glasgow and Barcelona.
"This is an amazing honour and an opportunity for a part of Ireland that has been traditionally marginalised to emerge stronger and more attractive as a place to live and work for our young people," David Minton, director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, said.
In 2018, the EER designation will be marked with a series of keynote events and initiatives to support and build on existing and new job-creation projects and innovation across Ireland's Northern and Western region.