A new IDA advance facility in Sligo is part of a strategy launched in Sligo on Monday to create an extra 28,000 jobs in the North West/North East region by 2020.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton was at IT Sligo to officialy launch the Action Plan for Jobs for the region, which encompasses Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth.
The plan is aimed at delivering 10-15% employment growth in the region over the coming years.
Apart from the new IDA advance facility at Finisklin Business Park, which it is hoped will be available next year, a number of other initiatives are suggested for Sligo with a view to creating jobs (see separate story, below).
But there was no indication in the plan as to how many of the suggested 28,000 extra jobs in the region would be in Sligo.
The plan recognises that the region suffered badly in the crash, with employment falling by 50,400 from 2007 to the end of 2012 and the unemployment rate at that time rising to 16.6%.
The impact on the construction sector in the region was particularly significant, given that it accounted for 14% of employment in 2007 and over 20,000 construction jobs were lost between 2007 and 2011.
Minister Bruton said he believed that based on all the evidence and the “strong buy-in for the process up to this point it is realistic to target 28,000 additional jobs in the region by 2020”.
The Minister said: “Jobs are growing right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others. That is why we have put in place the €250million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area.
“The North East/North West is a region which had historic problems with unemployment, but over recent years thanks to the ingenuity of its workers and businesses it has performed extremely strongly.
“Since we launched the national Action Plan for Jobs in early 2012 over 20,000 extra people are at work in the region, making it the third fastest growing region in the country in employment terms.”
Mr Bruton said he was convinced that with the right support from Government through the North East/North West Plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the region, they could deliver 28,000 extra jobs over the coming years.
Among the 152 actions in the plan to be delivered in the region as a whole over the period 2015-2017 include:
– Achieve an increase of at least 25% in the number of start-ups.
– Increase the number of IDA investments by 30-40% up to 2019. This will result in a minimum of 61 additional projects for the region.
– IDA will also aim at securing potential “second site” investments from companies who already have large scale operations in Dublin.
– And in the tourism sector – a new Shannon-Erne Blueway and further development of initiatives around the very successful Wild Atlantic Way.