Local TD, Denis Naughten, has welcomed a Government funding allocation of €2.75m and a further €900,000 by Roscommon County Council to develop a new life sciences innovation hub in Monksland.
The funding is to refurbish a disused building in Monksland Business Park into a life sciences and co-working hub to support existing rural enterprises requiring high speed broadband and support for start-up companies.
The hub will build on the software and life sciences businesses in the Monksland area and will be funded through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which was recently announced by Minister Ring.
The project, which was initially spearheaded by Athlone Chamber and supported by Roscommon LEADER Partnership, is now being promoted in conjunction with Roscommon County Council and Enterprise Ireland.
“Many small and start-up businesses outside of the main towns are struggling to access quality broadband that can make their enterprise a success and this project can help fill that void.
“Over time this project has expanded to become a potential key driver of new jobs not just in Monksland but in the towns around our region, by attracting innovative start-up companies into our area,” Denis Naughten, who was a member of the initial sub-committee which developed the project, remarked.
Reflecting upon the announcement, John McGrath, President, Athlone Chamber of Commerce, noted that the news was “years in the making” and a meeting pertaining to the project, at which Deputy Naughten and then Chamber CEO, Siobhan Bigley were in attendance, took place in 2012.