Cookies on The Nenagh Guardian website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Nenagh Guardian website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • News

Launch of Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan

Saturday, 9th March, 2019 9:00am
Jump to comments
Launch of Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan

Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive Tipperary County Council, Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, Cathaoirleach Mattie Ryan, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business and EU Digi

Launch of Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan

Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive Tipperary County Council, Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, Cathaoirleach Mattie Ryan, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business and EU Digi

Last week Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys launched the Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan at the BioEconomy Campus in Lisheen, aimed at supporting enterprise growth and job creation in the region through collaborative initiatives.


Reaffirming government commitment to regional enterprise growth, she was joined at the launch event by Minister Patrick O’Donovan, Minister Michael Ring and Minister Pat Breen. With a plethora of plans already in existence we ask why does this one matter, and what will it really mean? Here we meet with the chairman of the plan, Barry O’Sullivan, Global Manufacturing Platform Lead for J&J Vision, and Joe MacGrath of Tipperary County Council.


As a follow-on from the Regional Action Plan for Jobs initiative, Mr O’Sullivan believes the partnership framework facilitated by the plan is a unique national-local government, public-private partnership approach.  With whole of government national initiatives such as Project Ireland 2040 and Future Jobs 2019+ adopting a top-down approach, Regional Enterprise Plans are collaborative initiatives informed by, and built from, the bottom-up.


“Collaboration is the new buzz word. But translating it into reality is a real challenge for most businesses; never mind across multiple organisations spanning the public and private sectors. Luckily it’s something we do very well in the Mid-West. I want to thank the three Local Authority Chief Executives for their leadership, and their willingness to work in partnership with other public bodies and private sector experts. The economic benefits of these collaborations have impact; to date we have accessed over €9.4m in funding to deliver five game-changing projects, which will support the creation of up to 2,000 jobs over the coming years.


“Our unemployment rate is now 5.6%. There are over 211,000 people at work. The Mid-West is Ireland’s fastest growing investment location. Half a million people live here, we contribute €15bn to the Irish economy annually, and are home to over 20,000 companies. You can successfully invest here, live here, be educated here, safely and affordably raise a family here, build a rewarding career here. We need to continuously and effectively get that message out.


“Ireland is an island economy on the periphery of Europe. The population of our entire country is less than European cities such as Munich or Barcelona; or half the size of cities most people are not familiar with, such as Qingdao in China and Chennai in India. There is a lot of global uncertainty at the moment, especially BREXIT. If our region is to continue to compete and win internationally we have to build on our unique assets and strengths and work toward greater inclusivity, giving everybody equal access to both education and employment. This plan gives us a pathway to convert opportunities and build resilience”.


The plan has been developed in consultation with multiple public and private stakeholders across the region, from Education and Training Boards to individual business leaders. Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council believes the plan is a blueprint for collaboration and partnership.


“The public-private collaborative framework embedded in the Regional Action Plan for Jobs enabled us to move forward, with our partners, in accessing €4.6m in funding to develop a BioEconomy campus in Lisheen, converting emerging growth opportunities in the BioEconomy and Circular economy sectors into jobs for County Tipperary.


“It was fantastic to have four Ministers on-site last week to showcase the scale and ambition of the project, to highlight the strengths of rural locations in deriving economic and community benefits. Ireland’s Agriculture industry is going through seismic changes at the moment, while huge financial penalties loom if the country does not make greater strides toward lowering our carbon emissions. The opportunity to utilise our unique asset at Lisheen to address these challenges while creating new enterprise growth opportunities will be transformational for Tipperary and indeed Ireland.


“While the plan is focused on creating new opportunities for the region, there are a number of objectives and actions within the Mid-West Regional Enterprise Plan that will specifically benefit County Tipperary; including a new pilot scheme to take place in Tipperary Town, as well as the creation of a network of regional e-hubs, which seeks to capture emerging remote working opportunities for the county.


“Tipperary has the advantageous position of benefitting from two Regional Enterprise Plans, and holding true to the spirit of collaboration that underpins the plans, the programme managers in the Mid-West and South East work closely together to ensure continuity in vision and aspiration for enterprise and economic growth for Tipperary.”

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from around the county with an epaper subscription from €2.20*