OMAGH LED CROSS-BORDER INNOVATION ENTERPRISE INITIATIVE ANNOUNCE £3.2 MILLION
A new enterprise initiative, valued at £3.23 million, has been announced. The Innovation Enterprise Initiative has received £2.27 million from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme.
The initiative is a cross-border EU programme which will further advance the economic links between Omagh, Leitrim, and the wider cross-border ICBAN region and beyond. It will be led by Omagh District Council, in partnership with Omagh Enterprise Company, Leitrim County Council and Leitrim Enterprise Body and has been developed by the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) Ltd through their Multi Annual Plan
The £3.23 Initiative will involve the construction of an Innovation Growth Centre at Omagh Enterprise Company and a Technology Enterprise Centre at Leitrim County Enterprise Board. The new state of the art buildings in Omagh and Leitrim will provide facilities for 35 early/new and expanding businesses. It is expected that up to 250 jobs will be created between the two centres by the end of the three year programme.
In addition to the construction work, two Innovation Officers will be recruited through the programme to support the innovative and technical development of new companies entering the “Innovation Growth Centre” in Omagh and the “Technology Enterprise Centre” in Leitrim.
The initiative builds upon previous successes through cross-border collaboration, notably under the Innovate programme funded by the earlier EU INTERREG IIIA programme for Ireland/Northern Ireland.
Omagh District Council, Chairman Cllr Declan McAleer, welcomed this major announcement at this time of economic fluctuation, saying “the initiative will create much needed construction work in Omagh and Leitrim in the short term and in the medium term will provide new state of the art buildings to support new, expanding and high tech businesses in the ICBAN region”
Echoing these remarks the Leitrim County Council, Cathaoirleach Cllr Frank Dolan welcomed announcement of this initiative as a recognition of the continued partnership working with Omagh and the wider ICBAN region. He indicated that the programme would support the growth and expansion of exciting new businesses that would in turn create new employment opportunities and would act as a stimulus to future economic growth in the cross border region.
These remarks have been endorsed by the Chairman of the Omagh Enterprise Company, Professor Fabian Monds on whose site the Innovation Growth Centre will be built. Professor Monds welcomed the development and highlighted the fact that it would help to create new businesses and jobs for the area. He also highlighted the importance of the company’s mission to promote enterprise and support start-up growth and innovative businesses in the current challenging environment and that he looked forward to working with Leitrim in bringing the project to fruition.
Concluding, the Chairman of Leitrim Enterprise Board, Ms Jackie Maguire added that the project funding is very welcome at this time and looks forward to working with Omagh and Leitrim County Enterprise Fund in the development of the new Technology centre catering for growth in the ‘Smart Economy’.