For Oral Answer on : 10/02/2022
Question Number(s): 58 Question Reference(s): 6937/22
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the status of the nine new regional enterprise plans to 2024; when he expects these plans to be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Regional enterprise development and sustainable local job creation is a key policy priority of mine and this Government.
Throughout 2021, my Department has overseen the development of nine new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024. These are ‘bottom-up’ plans, developed by regional stakeholders which identify growth opportunities, recognise vulnerabilities, and enable job creation across the nine regions.
The Regional Steering Committees are chaired by senior industry figures and include the Enterprise Agencies, LEOs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Higher Education bodies, and others, all of whom are focused on creating and sustaining employment opportunities in the region.
Following in-depth consultation and engagement across the regions, each plan will contain a set of objectives and related actions to be delivered by end 2024. These objectives are complementary to and support existing Government and agency initiatives.
The Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024 are currently being finalised by my Department. They will be published and launched across the country over February and March this year.
My Department has approved over €126 million in funding to 79 enterprise strengthening projects in every region over a series of competitive calls since 2017. This has been provided through Enterprise Ireland via the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, the Border Enterprise Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme. Together, these funds assisted the development of collaborative regional projects that drive delivery of the objectives developed in the previous Regional Enterprise Plans.
I can advise the Deputy that in addition to the €5 million allocation for regional enterprise funding in Budget 2022, my officials are in the process of exploring new significant sources of funding to drive implementation of the nine new Regional Enterprise Plans. I expect to announce details on new regional funding shortly.