Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ireland’s Northern and Western region named as European Entrepreneurial Region 2018

Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring
Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The European Union has named Ireland’s Northern and Western region as European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2018 recognising the “enormous strides” the region has taken to foster entrepreneurship and arrest decades of economic decline.

Announced in Brussels by the EU’s Committee of the Regions, the award was given to the region because it has collectively developed policies that are transforming the area 'from adversity to advantage', in the process making it one of the most resilient and ambitious places in Europe.

The EER award identifies and rewards EU regions and cities with outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies.

“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 all through the year to support and build on existing and new job creation projects and innovation across Ireland's Northern and Western region.

Read more: Increase of 6pc in number of start-ups on 2016

The award comes at a crucial time for the region as looks for ways to insulate itself from the unpredictable impacts of Brexit and offer an alternative economic focal point to Dublin and the east coast.

The Government has warmly welcomed the award, with Minster for Community and Rural Affairs Michael Ring TD saying that the award was about “recognising the risk taker”.

“The Northern and Western region is now finally being recognised as one of the most vibrant, responsive and entrepreneurial places in Europe," Minister Ring said.

The Northern and Western region comprises eight counties, Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan.

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