A project to develop three digital and innovation hubs across Leitrim, Cavan and Longford has been given a major boost this week with the announcement of €1,284,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland.
Funding has been successfully secured under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund for a regional project that will promote sustainable economic development and job creation.
The funding is a joint initiative between Leitrim, Cavan and Longford and will lead to the development of a network of linked hubs across the three counties that will provide physical locations where entrepreneurs and enterprises can avail of office and meeting spaces with the latest technologies and fastest broadband available. The hubs will cultivate an environment that fosters creativity and the sharing of expertise and knowledge.
The project is part of a larger consortium entitled the Upper Shannon Erne Future Economy Project (USEFE) which brings together the Local Authorities of Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon, Bord Na Mona and ESB. The application was made through the Leitrim County Enterprise Fund on behalf of the consortium.
Speaking about the announcement today Leitrim County Council Chief Executive Joseph Gilhooly said that ‘This success is evidence of the strength of collaborating with our partners in Longford and Cavan County Councils. By working together we can strengthen our offering to provide first-class enterprise centres and build towards sustainable economic growth for the region. When we work together our capacity to secure investment for the region is greatly enhanced. This funding will allow us to expand the Hive in Carrick-on-Shannon and to develop a regional enterprise community.’
This successful collaboration is in addition to several other examples of four local authorities working together as a region under the USEFE project. Along with Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford and Cavan County Councils have also secured the development of the Blueway, the establishment of the Inside [Craft] Network and a successful graduate placement programme.
Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive of Longford County Council, welcomed the announcement saying ‘This is a major boost for both Longford and the region. This funding will greatly assist with the development of a digital and innovation hub that will reignite the Providers Building in Longford town and create a regional network that will create an environment of sharing of expertise and knowledge.’
Tommy Ryan, Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, added that ‘The establishment of this project demonstrates how business led regional development can contribute to economic growth and job creation. Coming together in a partnership creates a critical mass and allows us to promote our counties and region on a broader scale. We look forward to working with our partners on the network and the development of a digital hub in Cavan Town’.