Minister Invests In Enterprise Centres

A partenership arrangement between Enterprise Ireland and local communities has paid off sooner than expected - creating thousdands of jobs as a result.

Micheál Martin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has announced a €6.74 million investment in 22 community enterprise centre projects under the first round of Enterprise Ireland's €21 million Community Enterprise Scheme, 2007-2009.

This investment will lead to the creation of 10 new community enterprise centres and the expansion of 12 existing centres.

Making the announcement, Mr Martin said: "Community Enterprise Centres are a truly unique partnership between local communities and Enterprise Ireland and provide essential support for entrepreneurship in urban and rural areas. In April 2007, I announced the provision of €21 million for investment under a new scheme for the period 2007-2009, to be managed by Enterprise Ireland.

"I am delighted to announce a €6.74 million investment in 22 community enterprise centre projects under the first round of the new scheme, just eight months later. I would like to sincerely congratulate the 22 successful applicants who represent community groups from Inishowen to Farranfore.

"These centres have a real and measurable impact on the economic and social development of local communities, not least through employment creation," he continued.

He also noted that findings from a survey conducted by Enterprise Ireland report that in 2007, the 105 completed community enterprise centres in Ireland supported almost 1,000 enterprises that in turn employ 4,850 people.

The €6.74 million investment is comprised of a €6.37 million investment for the construction of new community enterprise centres and the extension of existing centre facilities, and a further €370,000 in support for the employment of enterprise centre managers. The investment will bring the number of Enterprise Ireland supported community enterprise centres throughout the country to 134.

A total of €50.8 million euros has been approved for the development of such centres since 1989.


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