Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton has welcomed the allocation of more than €9.6 million for five major job-creation projects in Galway under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.
The recipients of the funding include Galway Technology DAC, which has been allocated over €4 million; Galway City Innovation District (GCID ), which will receive €1.2 million; Comhoibriú CLG, which was allocated almost €2.7 million; and Grow Remote CLG, which will get €449,442. A grant of nearly €1.3 million has been approved for SCUUL Enterprises.
The successful projects were selected through a rigorous multi-stage evaluation process managed by Enterprise Ireland based on criteria that included value for money, viability and sustainability, and significance for innovation.
Deputy Naughton said that the Government had prioritised regional enterprise, and two-thirds of all jobs supported by Enterprise Ireland are now located outside of Dublin.
“Balanced regional development was a cornerstone of our programme for government, and we are making good on our commitments in that regard,” said the Galway West TD.
“As we seek to manage the recovery, it is vital that it reaches each and every corner of our country and nobody is left behind. The regeneration of rural Ireland and the regions has therefore been at the centre of every decision made since 2016.
“Since then, around 60 percent of the jobs created have been outside Dublin in what is a rebalancing of economic development intended to benefit many parts of the country that were untouched by previous periods of growth,” she said.
“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is one of the mechanisms through which the Government has sought to implement its policies on regional development. It supports every region to build on its strengths and create sustainable jobs.”
The approval of almost €1.3 million for GCID will support the relocation of the highly successful PorterShed, for which Deputy Naughton has previously secured grant funding. It has supported the creation of 720 jobs, hosting more than 1,100 tech events to date.
The allocation of more than €4 million for Galway Technology Centre will see its expansion and the development of Academy West, incorporating a dynamic team of commercially focused resources to generate a culture of enterprise scaling.
Almost €1.3 million has been approved for an expansion of SCUUL Enterprises’ state-pf-the-art centre that supports start-up companies, SME’s and social enterprises; while nearly €2.7 million has been allocated to Comhoirbiú CLG for the development of a centre of excellence and co-working space, incubation and acceleration programmes.
Vote of confidence
The news was also welcomed by MInister Sean Kyne who said this funding of €9.7 million is a vote of confidence in our city and county and demonstrates the many positive developments underway.
“Earlier this week the CSO’s latest employment figures were published which show unemployment now down to 4.8%. Initiatives like the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, led by Minister Heather Humphreys, who knows first-hand the importance of regional development, are helping us to support job creation and to maintain existing ones in spite of challenges.
“The allocation includes over €4 million to the Galway Technology Centre in Mervue which is home to 46 companies employing over 320 people. The funding will support the ‘Academy West’ project to help tech companies to grow and scale-up.
“€1.295 million will help secure the future of the PorterShed which to date has supported the creation of 720 jobs in Galway since its establishment in May 2016. This Government funding will support the relocation of the PorterShed to a larger premises at Bowling Green from where it will continue to support start-ups and attract some of the world’s most successful companies to Galway.
“A further €1.23 million has been allocated to Ballybane-based SCCUL Enterprises which will enable the organisation to support social enterprises alongside traditional ones in a plan that will deliver over 90 jobs.
“Galway has always been home to a vibrant Creative Sector and this is recognised with a €2.69 million investment in Comhoibriú/Creative Enterprise West to develop a centre of excellence for the Digital Creative Sector. Led by Galway Film Centre, GMIT and the Western Development Commission, Comhoibriú will support enterprises in areas such as film and TV production, animation, gaming and augmented reality from its base at Cluain Mhuire, Wellpark.
“In recognition of the benefits of remote working, such as work/life balance, rural development and climate action, €449,442 has been allocated to Galway-based ‘Grow Remote’ to help provide the resources for more and more people to work remotely. The backers of this project include the local authorities, the WDC, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, among others.