Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, is delighted she has helped secure €3m in Enterprise Ireland funding for Athlone Institute of Technology. The funding will go towards doubling the size of the college’s Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC), which will mean even more jobs for this region.
“Securing this €3m is great news for Athlone and the Midlands. As a local Government TD, I have fought very hard for this funding which will help create more jobs for Athlone, Westmeath and the wider region. This funding boost is also hard evidence of the need for a Government TD for Athlone and this constituency.
“This €3m in Enterprise Ireland funding will now double the size of the MIRC incubation centre, which offers a range of supports to entrepreneurs who wish to start a new, export focused, technology based business.
“This major expansion endorses the excellent work that is going on at MIRC in Athlone IT. Increased innovation and start-ups are vital to the future growth of the Midlands and MIRC is an excellent example of how to nurture the very best of our local entrepreneurs where the net result is ultimately jobs.
“Today’s funding announcement dovetails extremely well with the Midlands Jobs Strategy, which has been developed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton. I am very pleased to have made an input into this jobs strategy which, through extensive supports and funding, seeks to increase employment by approximately 15% by 2020, increase start-ups by 25% and IDA investments by 30-40%.
“The construction of two advance factories in Athlone, one of which is complete, is also hard evidence of Fine Gael’s commitment to attracting jobs and investment into this region.
Commenting on the Enterprise Ireland investment, Minister Bruton said: “The incubator at Athlone Institute of Technology is an excellent example of facilities that help grow and nurture young enterprises and create jobs locally.
“An investment of this nature is a central element of our Regional Action Plans for jobs where we are determined to invest in and develop the capacity of the regions, to grow regional centres of strength and to have sustainable job creation over the years to come.”