The Presidents of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) institutes welcome the announcement by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, TD, of €8.24 million in grants for 95 Enterprise Centres around the country under Enterprise Ireland’s Enterprise Centres Fund.

Enterprise Centres are embedded in communities in every county in the country. They provide space and training for entrepreneurs, allowing them to work remotely, access training and advice, and network with other business leaders.

All three of the CUA Innovation centres received grants, with LYIT’s CoLab receiving the maximum allocation of €150,000, followed by Sligo IT’s Innovation Centre receiving €146,220.  GMIT’s Innovation Hubs in Galway and Mayo received grants of €101,442 and €75,828 respectively.

This funding will be crucial as the centres continue to offer services to local businesses during what is an exceptionally difficult time. It will help the Centres implement a recovery plan for businesses within their remit over the next six to twelve months. 

The Presidents of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) institutes, Dr Orla Flynn, GMIT, Paul Hannigan, LYIT, and Dr Brendan McCormack, IT Sligo, warmly welcome the announcement of nearly half a million euro. 

Dr Seán Duffy, CUA Executive Project Lead, acknowledged the importance of this funding on behalf of the three Institutes:

“As we know, this is an incredibly difficult time for businesses everywhere.  This funding will help our innovation centres to implement a recovery plan for businesses within our remit.  It will take a collective effort and many months for businesses to recover.  We thank the Tánaiste for his commitment to our region in aiding that recovery.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “I am really pleased to make this funding available through by Department. It will help enterprise centres all over the country to modernise their facilities protecting the health and safety of people who work there and helping to secure much needed jobs.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland added: “Over the past 20 years, Enterprise Centres have provided important infrastructure for entrepreneurs and are an essential part of the start-up ecosystem across Ireland. The Centres, many of which are regionally based, provide space, connectivity, mentoring and support to start-up founders and teams, helping them to scale internationally.

“The funding announced today through Enterprise Ireland will ensure that the Enterprise Centres, many of whom have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, can sustain their businesses, pivot and further develop their services to support the next wave of Irish start-up companies.”

The fund, which was launched in August, was open to both not-for-profit and for-profit enterprise centres which have seen their income significantly impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 95 enterprise centres, which are in every region of the country, will receive grants ranging from €10,000 to €150,000.

Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT working together to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland