Launch of new Meath Economic Development Plan today

Jobs, Meath
Delighted to b joined by fellow Meath TD's Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty at the Meath Economic Development Plan launch today

Delighted to be joined by fellow Meath TD’s Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty at the Meath Economic Development Plan launch

I want to commend Meath County Council, its Cathaoirleach Cllr. Jim Holloway, Chief Executive Jackie Maguire, Economic Director Kevin Stewart and all their hard working staff for the launch of the new Meath Economic Strategy 2014-2022.

Those who contributed their practical experience and expertise to this strategy as part of the Meath Economic Forum under former Taoiseach John Bruton must also be thanked.

As I told the launch event today, only a positive, unified, consistent and evidence based approach will win new jobs, new business and new investment for Co. Meath.

Through the Strategy Launch, and the work feeding into it, Meath is announcing proudly to Ireland and the World that it has the people, skills, location infrastructure and native business ‘know how’ and success to greatly enhance and expand any outside enterprise that wants to make its home here.

The New Stone Age monuments of Newgrane, Knowth, Dowth and Loughcrew are often cited from a tourism point of view, and rightly so. But they also represent Meath’s proud history of innovation and invention established over 5000 years ago right up until the present day. That is the spirit and the energy we must channel into in the years ahead.

Meath County Council’s approach in putting itself front and centre at the heart of enterprise promotion in the County is one of the most progressive in the country. It represents a true embracing of the potential of last year’s Local Government reforms.

County Councils are about improving the quality of life of a County’s citizens. Good quality sustainable jobs are the best guarantee of quality of life. New sustainable locally based jobs are also the best guarantee that Meath County Council has the resources it needs to keep Meath at the forefront in enterprise, in tourism and in overall quality of life indicators.

The boom years were symbolised by excess and wasted opportunities. Whilst Meath got a legacy of excellent motorways it missed out on FDI and became a dormitory County for Dublin. Now as recovery takes hold, Meath must be aggressive and unapologetic in promoting its own interests to the country, and to the World.

All of us, no matter our political loyalties or personal ambitions, must go out and sell a message of positivity and hope about Meath’s future and potential. It is time for us all to don the  Royal jersey and work together.

This issue transcends politics. It is about parish and place. It’s about jobs to keep people at home, and jobs to bring people back home. The massively successful Tayto Park adorns the Meath jersey, and its ‘can do’ and ‘never say never’ approach and achievements should inspire us as Meath people in both sport and in business.

Launching Meath's new 2020 Economic Plan

Launching Meath’s new 2020 Economic Plan

154 new Meath jobs created by companies supported by the Meath Local Enterprise Office in 2014

Jobs, Meath, Wesmeath

Today I want to welcome the 2014 annual results for the Local Enterprise Offices, showing that nationally 4,012 extra jobs were created by companies supported by the Department of Jobs through the LEOs.

Locally in Co. Meath 154 extra jobs were created by companies supported by the Meath Local Enterprise office in 2014. The Meath LEO supports 180 client companies in the County. They employed 804 people in 2014, an increase of 19% on the previous year.

Last year the Westmeath Local Enterprise Office supported 242 client companies in the County in providing 1,284 jobs.   The number of Local Enterprise Office supported jobs in Westmeath is one of the highest in the country outside of Dublin, and the highest in the Midlands. They employed 1,284 people in 2014, an increase of 38 jobs, or 3%, on the previous year on a strong base.

Last year the system of 31 Local Enterprise Offices was established to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ system of enterprise supports to start-ups and small businesses across the country. These figures today show the reforms are working.

Start-ups are at the heart of the economic recovery. 2 out of every 3 new jobs in Ireland comes from a start-up enterprise. They need every support and encouragement possible from the state. Every new job is a life back on track, it is a family supported, it is human potential fulfilled.

The new LEO system means that people thinking of starting or expanding a business in every part of the country are able to access the full range of State supports provided by different Government bodies – for example local authorities, Enterprise Ireland, Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, the Credit Review Office, training bodies – in one easily accessible location within Meath and Westmeath County Councils.

Meath has such much more potential to unleash. The aim of making a Co. Meath a hub for new food and technological start-ups as part of Meath County Council’s new economic vision for the County will create real, local and sustainable high value jobs for the local economy.