Government’s regional strategy for Midlands to benefit from €25m competitive fund – McFadden

Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that the imminent roll-out of the Government’s Regional Enterprise Strategy in the Midlands region is to benefit from a €25m competitive fund.

“I understand that the Regional Enterprise Strategy will be rolled out shortly across the country, the first starting very shortly in the Midlands region. This national strategy will include competitive funding initiatives of up to €25m which will undoubtedly help boost business in the regions, not least the Midlands.

“I understand that details of these competitive funding initiatives will also be announced shortly.

“With the creation of more than 80,000 jobs since it was first launched in 2012, the Action Plan for Jobs has been a great success. However, this year the plan is focused on spreading the recovery to all regions of the country

“Specific reforms to be launched this year that will impact on a range of sectors in all areas of the country will also include:

• A national talent drive in which we will work towards increasing by 60% the number of ICT graduates by 2018.
• New measures to be introduced to support start-ups including a new Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs Scheme (SURE) tax incentive and a Start-up Gathering to be held in 2015.
• A €39m fund for businesses to make savings in energy.

“When the Action Plan for Jobs was first launched it was against a backdrop of emigration, job losses and a lack of credit for SMEs. Thankfully the economic landscape has changed but this growth has not been evenly spread and many areas have yet to benefit.

“We need to see growth and improvement in all areas of the country. We need to support new business here in places like Longford and Westmeath to prin order ovide opportunities for our young people.”