New €40m regional fund will 'encourage champions to come back with job-creation proposals'
A new €40m competitive regional jobs fund will be announced later today at a meeting in Athlone by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and minister for jobs Richard Bruton.
The new fund aims to encourage 'enterprise champions' to come back to Government with innovative proposals to support job-creation in their regions.
Proposed projects must involve collaboration from bodies such as Local Enterprise Offices, state agencies or education institutions.
The fund is grouped into five separate themes: regional accelerator programmes, opportunities to drive greater company/ sector collaboration, driving procurement for start-ups, improving third-level as a driver of regional enterprise, and strengthening the start-up ecosystem.
Speaking about the fund Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "This competitive fund has at its heart one of the key elements of our Regional Jobs Strategy - maximising local strengths through a coordinated effort from all local stakeholders.
"Everyone has to pull together to foster enterprise and create jobs. The Government is determined to keep the recovery going and deliver sustainable full employment by 2020 and these Regional Jobs Plans are a significant milestone on the journey."
Minister Bruton says that the fund will be a kick start for regions to come forward with job creation ideas.
"It will incentivise collaboration by the stakeholders in each region, and reward the regions who come forward with the projects that have the greatest capacity to create jobs," the minister said.