independent

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Regional fund of €45m available to help build Brexit resilience

Pictured at the launch of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and Aidan McKenna, Regional Director for the North-West Region, Enterprise Ireland
Pictured at the launch of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund are Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and Aidan McKenna, Regional Director for the North-West Region, Enterprise Ireland

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys is making a further €45 million available under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF). .

The fund is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and aligns with the Department's Future Jobs Ireland plan. Applications are open until 25th September. The successful projects will be announced before the end of the year. Under a competitive process, applications are now sought for funding under three streams with varying investment levels:

• Strategic Change Projects - to support major collaborative initiatives with high impact on regional development with funding up to €5m per project

• Regional Strengthening Projects - designed to stimulate new local community based or regional initiatives to address identified gaps in the enterprise ecosystem with funding up to €500k per project

• Enterprise Clustering Projects - the scheme is designed to stimulate enterprise clustering and support the further growth of established industry clusters regionally; by sector and nationally with funding up to €350k per project

To support the development of these projects, the Minister also launched a Feasibility Fund of up to €15k per eligible project. This is intended to support projects to develop and submit high calibre applications for Strategic Change and Regional Strengthening Projects.

Announcing the opening of the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Minister Humphreys said: "I am delighted to announce the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which is worth €45 million.

"This Fund is about creating sustainable jobs in the regions. It's different to other initiatives because it supports projects with regional impact, rather than having a county level focus.

"Collaboration is central to the Fund. It encourages regional stakeholders, both public and private sector, to work together and bring forward initiatives that build on each region's strengths, whether that's food, pharma, the bioeconomy or anything else.

"Crucially, the Fund will help build Brexit resilience and supports the vision of the nine new Regional Enterprise Plans, which I launched earlier this year. The Plans take a 'ground up' approach to maximise business development and job creation in every part of the country."

Aidan McKenna, Regional Director, North West, Enterprise Ireland said: "The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is an effective mechanism of supporting regional development. Following a rigorous evaluation process, the first and second call provided funding totalling €60m which funded 38 feasibility projects and 42 large scale projects in locations across the country.

"We again anticipate strong interest in this third call and look forward to working with regional stakeholders on innovative proposals to build scale at a regional level." Acting Chair of the North-West Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee Niall McEvoy, IT Sligo said:"The North-West has already benefitted to the tune of over €5.2 million under the first two calls of this important Fund; with over €1.1 million awarded to Donegal Digital Innovation, over €1.9m to the Sligo County Enterprise Fund, over €1.2m to the Leitrim County Enterprise Fund and over €950,000 to the Leitrim Food Enterprise Zone. The new Call announced by the Minster will be a significant boost to the delivery of the Regional Enterprise Plan for the North-West. I also welcome the launch of 'Powering the Regions'. Enterprise Ireland is a key player in the North-West and this new Enterprise Ireland Regional Plan complements the strategic objectives set out in the Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020."

Sligo Champion

News