ALMOST €1.8million has been allocated for the development of specialist infrastructure and accommodation for maritime and cruise liner related training on the Clare side of the Shannon estuary. The Clare MEZ (Maritime Economic Zone) project for Cahercon, Kildysert will also include a test bed for renewable technologies, according to Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen.
In total four projects included in the second round of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) will benefit County Clare. The REDF is an open national competitive call to support regional projects, delivered for the Government through Enterprise Ireland.
Minister Breen said, “Twenty-one successful applicants representing all regions of the country have secured just over €29 million for their projects in the second call for proposals under the competitive Fund. Initially allocating €60 million for two rounds of funding, the Fund will now operate on a rolling basis as part of Project Ireland 2040.
“I am delighted that we can begin to recognise the potential of the Clare side of the Shannon estuary with the allocation of €1,759,226 to the Clare MEZ.
“This project is key to development along the Shannon estuary and this site at Cahercon, earmarked for the project, is one of the nine sites identified for Marine Related Industry in the Shannon Integrated Framework Plan published in November 2013.”
“The Clare Maritime Economic Zone DAC (Clare MEZ) is an initiative by Clare County Council to provide specialist infrastructure, accommodation and development space for a range of different maritime-related niche businesses. In essence this is what the Regional Enterprise Development Fund is about – it is about supporting every region to build on its unique strengths, and ultimately create sustainable jobs,” said Minster Breen.
Funding was sought from Enterprise Ireland to part fund the establishment of the specialist commercial training facility at Cahercon. The aim of the facility will be to provide mandatory maritime training courses and value-added training for non-seafaring personnel taking up positions at sea. The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI)* will be central to providing this training at the facility in Cahercon.
The development will occur over a number of phases with the first phase incorporating the renovation of an on-site accommodation block, kitchen and dining block, conversion of the classroom block into small lecture rooms and research labs, and conversion of the gymnasium into a wet training facility with a small training pool.
The first phase will also include the purchase of specialist equipment including fire-fighting simulators, damage control simulator, marine evacuation chute, and other specialist equipment to support the multi-use facility.
The other projects funded under REDF to benefit Co Clare include:
– The Burren Lowlands CLG; Clare (Boston, Tubber & Crusheen) and Galway: €182,786
This is a community focused collaborative project that will develop an enterprise support platform (leveraging third level expertise, local enterprise office supports etc) to drive business networking, remote working and entrepreneurship development in areas of County Clare included Tubber, Boston and Crusheen as well as parts of south Galway. The project will create a focus point for enterprise activities in a rural setting, aimed at the creation and attraction of alternative employment opportunities.
– BNest Social Initiative DAC; Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, Cork, Kerry: €603,400
An initiative that assists businesses seeking social impact to achieve viability and scale through development programmes, critical service supports and cluster development, and by so doing allow innovative ideas with significant potential for societal impact to evolve to sustainable commercial entities.
– Hospital Food Units DAC; Clare, Limerick, Tipperary: €2,279,073
This project will develop a Digital Collaboration Centre which aims to position the Mid-West region as a hub of applied disruptive technology innovation. The project seeks to narrow the innovation-adoption gap for global and indigenous companies across the region through regional collaborative disruptive technology applications in services and business processes, which will support start-ups, scaling, HPSU growth and talent attraction.