The Department’s Regional Enterprise Plans are developed by regional stakeholders and focus on undertaking collaborative initiatives that can help realise enterprise growth and job creation in each of the nine regions across Ireland. They are an important part of the Programme for Government commitment to achieving more balanced regional enterprise development.
These ‘bottom-up’ Plans complement and build on core strategies of the Enterprise Agencies, the Local Enterprise Offices and the wider range of State Bodies directly involved in supporting enterprise development in the regions. They aim to garner added value and increased impact through regional and local actors working collaboratively on vulnerabilities and new enterprise development opportunities in the regions.
Implementation of each Regional Enterprise Plan is overseen by a Regional Steering Committee comprising representatives of the Local Authorities, LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Regional Skills Forum, Higher and Further Education Institutes, Education and Training Boards, private sector and others, and chaired by a senior level private sector businessperson.
The Department has put in place funding to support regional enterprise development through Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Enterprise Development Fund, allocating at total of over €117 million across 79 enterprise strengthening projects in every region over a series of competitive calls since 2017.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, and Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, lead on the Regional Enterprise Plans initiative nationally and jointly chair a National Oversight Group for the Plans which enables sharing of best practice and collaboration opportunities across the regions.
The first set of Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 were launched in early 2019 and built on the success of the previous Regional Action Plans for Jobs which were in operation up to the end of 2018.
The Department is currently overseeing the development of nine new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2024.
Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020
Year 2 and Final (to end 2020) Progress Reports on implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020
Year 1 (to end 2019) Progress Reports on implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020
The Final Progress Reports on the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017/8 are available at regionalapj.ie.
Regional Enterprise Development Fund
The Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) was introduced in 2017 and is administered on behalf of the Department by Enterprise Ireland. The Fund has enabled the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can enable and sustain enterprise and employment growth in the regions and has supported implementation of the Regional Enterprise Plans.
Under the three calls to date, almost €100m in funding has been approved for 68 projects in every region and these projects are currently in implementation.
Border Enterprise Development Fund
The €17m Border Enterprise Development Fund (BEDF) was introduced as part of the Government’s €28m Border Stimulus Package in early 2020. The aim of the Fund was to improve the international competitiveness of enterprise in the Border Region in the context of Brexit and other market challenges. Through a competitive call, the Fund sought collaborative, enterprise capability-building projects, to advance entrepreneurship, productivity and innovation in the Border region.
Under the BEDF, 11 projects were approved funding totaling over €17 million with projects approved in each of the Border counties. The projects are currently in implementation.