Minister Humphreys announces over €40m for 26 Projects to drive job creation in the regions

8th January, 2020

Regional Enterprise Development Fund
Minister Heather Humphreys pictured with Enterprise Ireland Chairperson, Terence O'Rourke and Regional Manager at Enterprise Ireland, Mark Christal
  • Projects approved following the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund
  • Two-thirds of all Enterprise Ireland-supported jobs were outside Dublin in 2019

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD, today announced the results of the third call of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), an open national competitive call to support regional projects that drive sustainable job creation in the regions.

The Minister made the announcement as she officiated at the annual results for IDA Ireland for 2019, which showed strong job creation in the regions.

26 successful applicants representing all regions of the country have been approved for funding of over €40 million for their collaborative projects and today’s announcement brings the total amount awarded under the Fund to almost €100 million to date. The fund is an initiative of the Government under Project Ireland 2040 and it aligns with the Future Jobs Ireland framework. It is administered for the Government by Enterprise Ireland.

Minister Humphreys said:

“The Irish economy has had a remarkable turnaround in recent years but we cannot rest on our laurels. Although we have made a lot of progress with six out of 10 jobs created outside Dublin since 2016, some parts of the country are not recovering as quickly as others.

“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund is about supporting every region to build on its unique strengths and ultimately create sustainable jobs. Collaboration is at its core – among the public and private sectors, within and across regions.

“The projects we are funding today are at the cutting edge of innovation. I am confident that they have the potential to make a real and lasting impact on enterprise development at both regional and national level.”

The REDF was introduced in 2017, to co-finance the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative enterprise projects that can make a significant impact on enterprise development in the regions in order to help sustain and add to employment at county, regional and national level.

Minister Humphreys also welcomed the IDA annual results, specifically with regard to developments in the regions. The results show that we now have FDI jobs located outside Dublin than ever before. 110 investments were won for regions in 2019. Overall, 33,118 net jobs have been created in the regions since the start of the IDA’s five-year strategy in 2014. Figures show that the Mid West, Mid East and South East exceeded targets, and investments in the Border region increased threefold during the five-year period.

The positive news follows the announcement yesterday that two-thirds of the almost 17,000 new jobs created by Enterprise Ireland-supported companies in 2019 are outside Dublin, with 65% of total employment in the regions. The companies involved also make a significant contribution to the local economy by sourcing over two-thirds of their materials and services from other Irish firms.

The Minister continued:

“This strong regional performance is important because we cannot reach our full potential as a country without successful regions. That’s why I have prioritised supporting regional enterprise as Minister through initiatives like the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. The Fund is making a real difference on the ground, so I look forward to seeing these 26 exciting projects translate into jobs and prosperity.”

Under the third call of the REDF, applications were invited to submit proposals under three Streams:

  • Strategic Change Projects – grant funding of €500k up to €5m;
  • Regional Strengthening Projects – grant funding of €100k up to €500k; and
  • Enterprise Clustering Projects – grant funding of €50k up to €350k.

The successful projects were selected through a rigorous multi-stage evaluation process managed by Enterprise Ireland, based on criteria which included: impacts and value for money; collaboration and participation; viability and sustainability; building regional strengths; and significance for innovation.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD also welcomed the funding, saying

“I very much welcome Minister Humphreys’ announcement today and want to commend all those who have participated in the competitive process. Through this funding, the Government is following through on our commitment to support the ambition, goals and implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans, and I look forward to seeing these projects have a big impact around the country."

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan TD also congratulated the successful recipients:

“I want to congratulate all those groups that have been approved for funding today, and am very pleased that the Regional Enterprise Development Fund is supporting initiative and collaborative efforts in every region.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said:

“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is a key mechanism to support balanced regional development and an effective enterprise ecosystem. The fund plays an important role in building greater innovation capabilities in businesses across the regions. It also enhances collaboration between companies and key players in the regional enterprise ecosystem. I look forward to seeing the 26 successful projects announced today being brought to fruition.”

Details of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund Call 3 Scheme are on Enterprise Ireland’s website www.enterprise-ireland.com/REDF

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Ciara Ahern

Press & Media Relations

Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 727 2018

083 800 7203

Ciara Ahern