I was privileged to announce a €1 million fund to link digital hubs from Donegal to Kerry at the Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre today. These are exciting times.
Here are the full details about the launch of the Western Development Commission’s Work Smarter Live Better five-year strategy from the Department of Rural and Community Development’s press release:

Minister Seán Canney announces €1 million for Enterprise Hubs and Digital Spaces along the Atlantic Economic Corridor

Hub network a flagship project in the Western Development Commission’s new five-year Strategy

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Seán Canney TD, today (15 April 2019) announced that €1 million in funding will be made available to create a network of Enterprise Hubs and Digital Spaces along the western seaboard, from Kerry to Donegal. This area forms the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) region which combines the economic hubs and catchments of the region to attract investment, support job creation and improve the quality of life for those who live there.

Speaking at the launch of the Western Development Commission’s (WDC) new five year Strategic Plan ‘Work Smarter, Live Better’ in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, Minister Canney said:

“Through Project Ireland 2040, the Government has set out targets for regional population and jobs growth to ensure that our national development is more evenly balanced throughout the country.

“The €1 million in funding which I am announcing today for a network of enterprise hubs and digital working spaces along the Atlantic Economic Corridor will help to drive economic development and contribute to our regional development goals. The initiative will help to attract more people and more investment to the western part of Ireland, which is a vibrant area of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as being a great place to live.”

The Minister continued: “I have asked the Western Development Commission to take the lead in developing the Hub network. This project builds on the excellent work already being carried out in the region by enterprise and innovation hubs in the private, public and social enterprise sectors. I am pleased to see that the initiative is reflected as a flagship project in the WDC’s new five-year strategy launched tod
“The funding being provided will allow existing and emerging hubs to work together to form a collaborative network, with the assistance of the Western Development Commission. The initiative will support business development, job creation and economic growth in the AEC region and will have tremendous benefits for people who want to live and work in the West of Ireland.
“The hub network will also provide a social dividend by making the hubs available to communities and those who may be economically, socially or educationally disadvantaged. The funding is being made available through the Dormant Accounts Fund.”
The €1 million in funding for the Hub Network is in addition to additional funding of €500,000 provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development to the WDC this year to enhance their capacity to support innovative and strategic regional development initiatives in the West.
Congratulating the WDC on publishing its new five-year strategy for the period 2019-2014, Minister Canney said: “The Western Development Commission has been dynamic and innovative in responding to the changing needs of the region. By supporting Government policy in developing the region, and through the focus of their new Strategy, the WDC will contribute to leading and enhancing the sustainability of the Western region over the next 5 years and beyond.”

“The Western Region can provide an unrivalled quality of life, opportunities for innovation and enterprise, and can compete on the national and international stage. This is an exciting time to live and work in the West of Ireland.”