Taoiseach and Minister Bruton launch €40 million competitive regional jobs fund

15th January 2016


Details are revealed to Action Plan for Jobs Regional Enterprise Champions at round-table meeting on implementation of 8 regional jobs plans

The Taoiseach and Minister for Jobs will today (Friday) launch a €40 million competitive regional jobs fund, part of the Regional Jobs Plans process.

Details of the Enterprise Ireland fund were revealed ahead of a meeting in Athlone with 20 business-people from across the country who have been named as Enterprise Champions, responsible for helping to implement the Regional Jobs Plans in each area of the country.

7 of the 8 Regional Jobs Plans have now been published, covering every area of the country except Dublin, with publication of the final Dublin plan scheduled for the coming weeks. Together, the 8 jobs plans are aimed at creating 220,000 extra jobs across the country over the coming years, which specific targets for each region aimed at ensuring that the unemployment rate in every region is within 1% of the average across the State.

In order to win funding under the scheme, a project must involve collaboration from different players within each region – for example Local Authorities, education institutions, State Agencies, as well as private sector bodies like Chambers of Commerce. The thinking behind the  €40million fund is that it will help incentivise these organisations to work together on a regional basis in the interests of job-creation.

This initiative will incentivise collaboration and innovation in each region. The Taoiseach and Minister Bruton will today encourage the Enterprise Champions (who will help drive the implementation of the regional jobs plans) to come back with innovative proposals to support job-creation in their regions, and to promote collaboration between the different stakeholders.

The €40 million fund will be rolled out on a phased basis, grouped under the following 5 themes.:

  • Regional Accelerator projects
  • Opportunities to drive greater company/sector collaboration/clustering in the regions
  • Driving procurement opportunities for start-ups and established small businesses  
  • Strengthening Third-level as a driver of regional enterprise
  • Strengthening the Start-up ecosystem locally

This competitive initiative marks an innovation in funding enterprise projects. Minister Bruton believes that by making the funding competitive, it will bring the best out of the organisations in each region, and incentivise the greatest possble level of innovation and collaboration locally.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "I am delighted to be announcing this €40 million fund as part of the next stage in our Regional Jobs Plans roll-out. Our aim is to ensure that every region can achieve its economic potential and that the benefits of the recovery are felt in every region, county and community in the country. This competitive fund has at its heart one of the key elements of our Regional Jobs Strategy - maximising local strengths through a coordinated effort from all local stakeholders. Everyone has to pull together to foster enterprise and create jobs. The Government is determined to keep the recovery going and deliver sustainable full employment by 2020 and these Regional Jobs Plans are a significant milestone on the journey."

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said: “Jobs are growing in every region of the country – but they are growing faster in some regions than in others. Regional jobs growth is a key aim of the Government’s – not just because it is important in and of itself, but also because it is a crucial element of hitting our overall jobs targets. That is why we have put in place the Regional Jobs Plan process – to accelerate jobs growth in every region of the country, by bringing the different stakeholders together to work on common goals, and by building on the strengths of the region.

“This fund is a key part of that. It will incentivise collaboration by the stakeholders in each region, and reward the regions who come forward with the projects that have the greatest capacity to create jobs.

“I wish to pay tribute to the business leaders right across the country who have agreed to sit on the regional committees and drive the implementation of the plans in each area. The input of these experienced and successful industry leaders creates a real step-up in the level of innovation and jobs impact of this process. This is a genuine public service which will make a real impact to the regions in which they live and work”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting regional business growth and development. This new €40m competitive regional jobs fund will facilitate more new companies being started up and scaled, which is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland. It will also encourage greater collaboration between the research and business communities, which will help to develop more innovative companies and ultimately, more sustainable jobs at a regional level”.

Notes for Editors

An initial call was made under this call which received 141 expressions of interest

Applications under the fund will be managed by Enterprise Ireland, taking into account factors including jobs impact, collaboration and innovation.

Among the Enterprise Champions responsible for chairing and vice-chairing the implementation committees in each region are:

South East


Frank O'Regan (Chair)

Entrepreneur & former head of B&L in Waterford

Terry Clune

Founder & Chair Connect Ireland and Taxback

Seamus Kilgannon

CEO Schivo Group

Patsy Carney

CEO Eirgen

Rachel Doyle

MD Arboretum, Carlow, Carlow Chamber of Commerce and Bord Bia Member)

Pat McLoughlin

Operations Manager Abbott Vascular Clonmel

Pauline Oakes

Director of Operations CR Bard

Colin Gordon

CEO Glanbia

South West

Bob Savage (Chair)

MD EMC Ireland

Ed Harty

CEO Dairymaster

Kate Murphy,

MD Southern Scientific

Yvonne Barry

Partner Quintas

Mid West

Barry O’Sullivan (Chair)

Plant Manager, Vistakon, Co. Limerick (Chair)

Birgitte Curtin (Vice Chair)

MD Burren Fish Products, Co Clare

Clodagh Cavanagh,

Managing Director, Abbey Farm Machinery, Nenagh

Gerry Reynolds

CEO, Takumi Precision Engineering Ltd., Co. Limerick


Gerry Kilcommins, (Chair)

President Medtronic & General Manger of Medtronic Galway

Pat O’Donnell (Vice Chair)

Vice President & Managing Director, Allergan

Mike Conroy

Chairman of the Information Technology Association Galway and also Cisco Galway

Pauline Naughton,

MD of P&G Cards

North East/ North West

Richard Hanlon (Chair)

Senior Vice President, Vesta

Conor Murphy

Site Director, Abbott Diagnostics

Michael Hanley

CEO, Lakeland Dairies

Philip Martin

CEO, Cora Systems

Martin McVicar

MD, Combilift

Brian Leslie

Director, Seaquest

Mid East

John Cunningham

Managing Director, Epicom

Siún Ní Raghallaigh, Managing Director, Ardmore Studios, Wicklow

CEO, Ardmore Studios, Wicklow

Eamon Sinnott (Chair)

General Manager, Intel Ireland


Pat Gallagher (Chair)

CEO, Westmeath County Council

Wayne Byrne

MD, Oxymem

Garry Moore

CEO, Steripack

Linda O’Reilly

CEO, Elephant Smart Business

Seamus Delaney

Director & General Manager, Internal Results


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