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News & Events

Minister English visits Kildare Local Enterprise Office

Today, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, visited the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Kildare.

The visit to Kildare is part of a series the Minister, who is keen to meet Local Enterprise Office teams nationwide, is making to engage with them and some of their client companies. The Minister will see first-hand the work being done to support enterprise development on the ground and hear of the recent ‘Look for Local’ campaign in the county.

Minister English began his day by paying a visit to Carve On Ltd. in Kilcullen, which specialises in the customisation and personalisation of a broad range of goods manufactured from premium vegetable tanned leather. This close-knit team of nine have pooled their experience to ensure overall quality and have developed working relationships with individual and corporate customers in over 50 countries across six continents.

The Minister then attended a meeting at Kildare Council Chamber, where he was welcomed by the Mayor of County Kildare, Cllr Naoise Ó Cearúil. He also met with Sonya Kavanagh, Acting Chief Executive of Kildare Local Authority, members of the Kildare Evaluations Committee, the Kildare LEO team, and local Members of the Oireachtas.

The attendees discussed the experience client companies have had with the services provided by Kildare LEO. This was followed by a presentation from Jacqui Mc Nabb, Head of Enterprise for the Kildare LEO, on the LEOs 2021 interventions and Enterprise Ireland engagements, which covered a variety of topics including the Green for Micro programme, Agile Innovation Fund and Lean and Regional Enterprise Development Fund capital programmes. Finally, the Minister received a presentation from Kildare Chamber on the subject of the Green Sustainability partnership.

Minister English then visited the new, Regional Enterprise Development Fund funded, MERITS building, which will formally open in December 2021. Joe O’Carroll, MERITS Manager, explained The MERITS hub will create 120 tech jobs over next three years. He described how the centre provides not only a specialist place of work, but also offers the benefit of wrap around services from Kildare LEO and its partners.

The last stop of the day was a visit to Nutra Co Pack, which operates a state-of-the-art purpose-built food grade facility, located in Celbridge Industrial Estate. Owners Gary and Allan Mc Cormack spoke to the Minister about the wide range of contract filling and packing services they have on offer. Nutra Co Pack have a long-standing relationship with the Kildare LEO.

Speaking at the visit today Minister English said:

“The Local Enterprise Office in Kildare have worked hard with businesses across the county to help sustain them and local job opportunities over the past 18 months.  I am grateful to Jacqui McNabb and the LEO team for helping local firms to make the transition to online trading and for continuing to offer their expert mentoring, training, upskilling and financial supports during the pandemic.”

“People have shown that by ‘Looking for Local’ a big impact can be made on communities through supporting our local businesses. Consumers can enjoy first class products, services, and experiences on their doorstep in Kildare, and by supporting ‘Look for Local’, they will help ensure positive economic, environmental and societal impacts that will benefit all in the community”

Minister English concluded:

"The positive engagements today in Kildare are a sure sign of a positive future for economic development and growth in local enterprise as the economy continues to exit the pandemic and get back to more normal trading conditions.”


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, press.office@enterprise.gov.ie or (01) 631-2200