Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Thursday) said that Meath must benefit from the target set by IDA Ireland to have 50% of foreign direct investments based outside Dublin and Cork. In response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty, the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, said that IDA Ireland has been marketing a number of large towns, including Navan, as key locations for such investments.
“Tackling the jobs crisis is top of the Government’s list of priorities. The Action Plan for Jobs launched earlier this week will help companies in Meath to do business and create jobs. The Plan will improve access to finance for small businesses, reduce costs and red tape, and improve supports for exports, management and innovation.
“I was very encouraged to learn that employment continued to grow in the 172 Enterprise Ireland supported companies based in Meath last year. More than 5,100 people work in these companies and I hope this number will continue to grow this year. Since 2007, funding of over €20m has been approved by Enterprise Ireland to companies based in Meath, helping them to retain and create employment. Last year, businesses supported by Meath County Enterprise Board created 358 full-time jobs and 120 part-time or seasonal jobs.
“The reforms introduced in the Action Plan for Jobs will make it easier for companies and entrepreneurs in Meath to get the support they need to start up and expand. A new ‘one-stop-shop’ micro enterprise support structure will be established by dissolving County Enterprise Boards and replacing them with Local Enterprise Offices in each local authority. This will give firms an enhanced service with direct access to Enterprise Ireland’s expertise and the broader business services of the local authority.
“At the moment, 16 IDA Ireland supported companies in Meath employ about 1,300 people. I am determined to see this number grow. According to Minister Bruton, the agency is encouraging these companies to continue to re-invest within the region. I will be pursuing this issue with the agency, to ensure Meath receives its fair share of potential investment.”