Minister drops by 'Creative Spark'
Dundalk's Creative Spark was the focal point of Minister John Perry's whistlestop tour of Louth on Friday last.
The Minister of State for Small Business paid a visit to the centre where he met with management, creative start-up enterprises, and local small businesses, all of whom use the facility.
Mr Perry had specifically asked to visit the purpose-built building on Clontygora Drive, which opened its doors 18 months ago, and with which he had maintained contact since the early planning stages of the development.
The facility now houses two creative enterprises: Smart Eco Hub, Element Design, Geraldine's School of Speech & Drama; Transformation Coaching; iCreate Digital Media Academy; Bance Nolan Ltd; Stageandlighting.ie; Sync IT; Green Gorgeous; Play & Creative Art Therapy; Polska Szkola Dundalk and SpeechZone.
The Creative Spark building is a popular choice not only for workspace, but also by businesses based elsewhere, as a training space and meeting space.
Creative Spark offers a comprehensive programme of classes across a broad spectrum, boasting fine art print studio and kiln room.
The Workroom, a classroom facility, is used by local creative enterprises Abbey Art Studios, Petals and Bows and Peacefelt and by RehabCare to deliver specific creative skills classes.
The Minister was met at the Creative Spark building by Manager, Sarah Daly, who following the formalities of speeches and a presentation, brought the Minister on a tour of the building, allowing him to meet with business owners who have already shown their support for the facility by making Creative Spark their base.
Mr Perry was also invited to launch the Creative Spark Summer-Autumn Programme of Courses which will this year include jewellery making, life drawing, screen printing, ceramics and much more.
Minister Perry recalled his visit to a building site in 2011, which is now the Creative Spark building, and spoke of his support for the initiative and the businesses now based there.
'You are the champions of the next boom of entrepreneurship. This is an incubation centre for enterprise and creativity.'
Speaking on behalf of those in Creative Spark, Sarah Daly explained that Creative Spark is a member of the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres (NACEC) which recently launched a report into the impact of community enterprise centres around the country.
'It is heartening to see that the government has recognised this and that the Minister is actively engaging with the association and visiting many of its members.'
The occasion also provided the opportunity for other people in the local SME community take a look around Creative Spark and realise how the building could meet their needs either as a workspace, training and meeting space or hot desk facility.