€250m plan to grow our regional towns
FUNDING for the Government's new €250m blueprint to grow jobs in small towns and villages across the country will be given out on a 'competitive' basis, a senior minister said.
With Croke Park chosen as the venue, there was a strong air of electioneering as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton announced how the Government plans to grow jobs in regions outside Dublin where the economic recovery has been weaker.
As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, the first tranche of €50m of Enterprise Funding will be made available this year.
At the event, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said most funds would be awarded to regional projects in towns with funding under the programmes distributed on a competitive basis.
The plan has divided the country up into eight regions, including the south east, south west, mid west, west, midlands, border and mid east.
Meanwhile, it emerged at least 200 jobs are in the pipeline for the midlands, with the €8m redevelopment of an old shopping centre in Tipperary which closed in 2011, a victim of the recession.
Pipped to the post for the purchase of the iconic Hayes hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, local developer Martin Healy, from Two-Mile-Borris turned his attentions to another investment.
He purchased the 5.5 acre site on the Dublin-Limerick road in Nenagh before Christmas for an undisclosed sum.
The shopping centre had been the first large retail development in Munster and had been run by the O'Connor family for generations, giving huge employment to the area until it went into receivership and closed in 2011.
Mr Healy plans to begin construction work in early May.