45,700 people work in Industry in Western Region

  • Western Region home to 45.7% of Irish MedTech jobs
  • 53% of Western Region’s total Industry employment is in MedTech, Chemicals & Pharma and Agri-food
  • 55% of Industry jobs in foreign owned firms
  • Western Region home to both highest and lowest share working in Industry in Ireland – Ballyhaunis (41.9%) and Bundoran (3.5%)

The Western Development Commission (WDC) has published a new report analysing employment data for Industry in the Western Region.  Industry includes mining, utilities and waste management but by far the largest element is manufacturing.

In 1996, Industry accounted for 21% of total employment in the Western Region.  As the population grew and the region’s economic structure changed, Industry’s relative position declined.  By 2016, 13.7% of all employment in the region was in Industry.

It is still however the region’s largest employment sector and is more important here than nationally (11.4%).   The actual numbers working in Industry declined from 47,319 in 1996 to 45,754 two decades later.

The MedTech sector is by far the largest industrial activity in the Western Region. It accounts for 27.7% of the region’s total industrial employment, more than double the national average of 12.1%.  In fact the Western Region is home to 45.7% of all MedTech jobs in Ireland.

The region’s second largest industrial activity is Chemicals & Pharma at 14.1%.  Pharmaceuticals is the largest element which, together with MedTech, shows the region’s strength in Life Sciences.

While Agri-food is the third largest, its share in the region (11.2%) is considerably smaller than nationally (17.1%). This is partly due to the strong concentration of Agri-food in the other regions e.g. South East, as well as the nature of farming in the region.

 Author of the report, WDC Policy Analyst Pauline White says:

‘The relative importance of Industry differs across the region.  For Galway and Clare, it is the largest employment sector, while for Donegal it is only fourth.  The counties’ industrial profiles also differ. 

MedTech dominates in Galway City and County, which have the highest shares working in this sector in Ireland.  It is also the largest industrial employer for Leitrim.  For Sligo and Mayo, Chemicals & Pharma is largest with Sligo having the second highest share nationally.  Agri-food is the main industrial employer for Donegal and Roscommon, while in Clare it is Computer & Electronic equipment. Clare has the second highest share in this industrial activity in the country. ’ 

At 41.9% of total employment, Ballyhaunis has the highest share of residents working in Industry among Ireland’s 200 towns and cities (1,500+ population).  Shannon (31.9%) and Tuam (25%) are also in the top 10 nationally.  The Western Region however is also home to the Irish town with the lowest share working in Industry, Bundoran (3.5%).

Total Industry employment in the Western Region increased by 13.7% between 2011 and 2016, greater than nationally (+9.4%).  Transport Equipment (+52.7%), MedTech (+30.2%) and Computer & Electronic (+21.2%) grew most strongly.  Automotive supplier Valeo in Tuam, growth in many MedTech multinationals as well as electronics manufacturing around Shannon contributed to this pattern.

The Western Region’s industrial base is characterised by higher levels of foreign ownership.  In 2017, 55.1% of all jobs in industrial firms in the region (that received assistance from IDA, EI or Udarás) were in foreign owned companies.  This contrasted with 45.3% nationally.  Foreign owned companies’ share increased during the early years of the recession and the recovery further reinforced their position.

According to Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of the WDC:

‘Industry plays a greater role in the Western Region’s labour market than nationally.  As policy increasingly focuses on services, it is vital that the importance of manufacturing continues to be recognised and the sector supported. High-tech manufacturing is very strong in the region however, automation poses a threat to some jobs in this, as well as in more traditional sectors.  Upskilling for the industrial workforce, to adapt to changing skill needs, and greater industrial diversification should be key priorities for the region.’ 

Download ‘Industry in the Western Region: Regional Sectoral Profile’ and summary documents from https://www.wdc.ie/publications

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Pauline White, Policy Analyst, WDC on +353 86 832 8055

Notes to Editor:

  • The Western Development Commission (WDC) is a statutory body promoting social and economic development in the Western Region. It was established in 1998 to cover counties Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. wdc.ie
  • The WDC’s Policy Analysis Team analyses regional and rural issues, suggests solutions to regional difficulties and provides a regional perspective on national policy objectives. The Regional Sectoral Profile is part of a suite of WDC Insights publications which aim to provide accessible information for people in the Western Region, based on analysis of key socio-economic data and providing insights on important issues for the region and its counties. Other outputs of the WDC’s Policy Analysis Team include Policy Briefings, Reports, Submissions and the weekly WDC Insights Blog.
  • Data Source: CSO, Census of Population 2016 and Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Annual Employment Survey 2017 (special run). Analysis of data was undertaken by the Western Development Commission.




The WDC will lead the project working in association with the local authorities in Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Donegal

The Western Development Commission (WDC) has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Community and Rural Development, Michael Ring, TD of funding of €644,734 for the Digiwest regional economic development project to develop digital working hubs in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon and Swinford, Co. Mayo.

The funding is part of €62m in funding for Rural Regeneration and Development projects across the country, and aligns with the on-going work along the Atlantic Economic Corridor, as set out in the National Planning Framework. The Atlantic Economic Corridor seeks to develop the Atlantic Coast counties from Donegal to Kerry to ensure balanced regional development in Ireland to 2040.

WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin said, ‘the Digiwest project is an excellent example of regional collaboration as set out in our forthcoming strategic plan where four local authorities, working with the Western Development Commission will be enabling and supporting communities to work in the digital economy. The collaboration will offer facilities and services that will meet both community and business needs, to maintain and develop vibrant communities in the Western Region.’

Further information contact: Caroline Coffey, WDC 094 9861441 |info@wdc.ie

Note for editors:

The Western Development Commission, established by statute in 1998, advises the Government on policy for the western region, plays a key role in regional development, supports small and medium business through the Western Investment Fund and raises the social, cultural and economic profile of the west through lookwest.ie and other initiatives;

  • Investment in the region
    • €51m invested in growth since 1999
    • 5,000 jobs supported in 155 projects since 1999
    • Policy analysis
    • Output in 2018; 10 reports | 9 submissions | 7 insights
    • EU project work
    • €13.5m in ongoing EU project funding

Read more about the work of the Western Development Commission at www.wdc.ie or what living and working in the west offers on www.lookwest.ie

‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’

You are warmly invited to our training seminar entitled ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’.
It takes place in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo on 6th March, 2019 at 5.30pm. This training seminar and networking event is aimed at increasing the number of private / angel investors regionally, particularly female investors, and provides an introduction to angel / private investing and crowdfunding.  At the event, speakers and experts will talk about their experiences of angel investing, both as investors and investees, leveraging their networks and the experience of private investment and syndicate investment groups.

This is an ESIL (Empowering Early Stage Investors Launchpad) event run in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Offices in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon and supported by WestBIC, HBAN, WDC and the Empower Programme.






  • Networking and Refreshments
  • Introductions – John Magee, Mayo LEO / Ultan Faherty, ESIL/HBAN
  • Keynote speaker – Victoria Hernandez of the Early Stage Investing Launchpad (ESIL) on ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’
  • Fidelma McGuirk of Payslip – Investee’s perspective on the investment process
  • Company Pitches
  • Conclusion
  • Close and Networking

    Victoria Hernandez Profile

If you wish to attend then please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angel-investing-in-high-potential-enterprises-is-it-for-you-tickets-55572690413

BioExel Programme 2019 Introduces New Cohort of MedTech Companies

A new wave of MedTech companies supported by NUI Galway’s BioExel programme, Ireland’s first MedTech accelerator continues following the success of 2018 cohort.

Following on from the success of the inaugural 2018 NUI Galway BioExel programme, a second successful recruitment campaign was completed last December. A high calibre of applications were reviewed from across the globe and the final eight companies are now immersed in the 2019 BioExel accelerator programme.

BioExel offers €95,000 in seed funding to successful applicants along with six-months of intensive training, mentoring, lab space and supported interactions with potential investors. The programme allows participants to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with existing entrepreneurial networks, mentors and management team.

BioExel is managed by MedTech Director, Dr Sandra Ganly, also a co-founder of BioInnovate Ireland and Senior Research Fellow in NUI Galway, and Fiona Neary, Commercial Director and co-founder of BioExel, and Innovation Operations Manager at NUI Galway.

Fiona Neary at NUI Galway, said: “BioExel’s mission is to act as an honest broker between Medtech start-ups and the investment community bridging the gap between technology de-risking and raising investment. BioExel has positioned itself as an internationally recognised Medtech accelerator with the reputation of significantly enhancing indigenous Medtech start-ups by providing attractive seed investment funding and a pipeline of next generation Medtech start-up’s for Ireland.”

Joined by the funding partners last month at NUI Galway, the programme officially launched the new cohort of BioExel 2019 and enabled a great working session where partners and participants came together to share experiences and business opportunities.

BioExel 2019 Companies:

  • Áine Behan and Fred Herrera, CortechsConnect Ltd, an Irish based company developing a non-pharmacological Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) intervention. Visit: cortechs.ie
  • Declan Trumble, Kudos Health, an Irish based company developing a Health and Wellness engagement platform. Visit: kudoshealth.com
  • Idicula Mathew, Hera Health Solutions, a US based company developing a Biodegradable Female Contraceptive Implant. Visit: hearahealthsolutions.com
  • Chris Duke and Michael Newell, Lifestyle Medical, an Irish based company developing Knee kinematics performance and rehabilitation technology
  • Liam McMorrow, Adelie Health, a UK technology and new Irish start-up, developing an innovative Smart Insulin Pen. Visit: adeliehealth.com
  • Blaine Doyle, Glow Dx, an Irish company with an export market in place developing an Infectious Disease Diagnostic Platform. Visit: glowdx.com
  • Rory Clerkin and Morris Black, Holywood Medical, an Irish based company developing Migraine prediction assay (predicts the onset of migraine) for preventative medicine in this space. Visit: holywoodmedical.com
  • Damien Kilgannon, Sula Health, an Irish based company developing a solution in the area of Circadian Rhythm (Sleep) Disorder Treatment. Visit: sulahealth.com

This new cohort of companies will take part in the BioExel accelerator programme until June 2019, preparing them to be investor ready or to have investment in place.

BioExel is a partnership programme funded by Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission, Galway University Foundation, Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, and hosted by NUI Galway.

For additional information please contact the BioExel team at bioexelinfo@nuigalway.ie or phone 087 6226240 or visit: www.bioexel.ie.


Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway

A year in review: WDC Policy Analysis 2018

Happy New Year from the WDC Policy Analysis team!  As we all try to settle back into work and look forward to 2019 (well as much as anyone can with Brexit looming large on the horizon) it’s a good chance to look back at the year that was 2018.

Here’s a few of our highlights:

Travel to Work analysis

In May, we published detailed analysis of the travel to work patterns of workers living in the Western Region. The analysis, undertaken by the All Island Research Observatory (AIRO), identified 42 labour catchments across the region.

Our report contains a detailed labour market profile of the principal town in each of the seven counties – Galway, Ennis, Sligo, Letterkenny, Castlebar, Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon. All of these labour catchments have significantly more people at work than the resident population of workers in the town, highlighting that they have access to a larger labour supply than may be thought. Read more

Further analysis of 26 smaller labour catchments will be published later in January.

County Infographics

July saw one of our most popular outputs, ‘snapshot’ infographics for each of the seven western counties.  The infographics show a range of facts about each county such as its 2016 population as a percentage of its 1841 population, the percentage with a third level qualification, average time to travel to work and broadband access.  Read more

WDC Insights

During 2018 we continued to publish succinct, 2-page WDC Insights on a range of issues including Electricity Transmission for Renewable Generation, Enterprise in the Western Region 2016, County Incomes in the Western Region, Growth and Change in Regional GVA and Education Levels in the Western Region.

Regional Sectoral Profiles

October 2018 saw the launch of a series of Regional Sectoral Profiles of economic sectors in the Western Region, analysing the latest employment and enterprise data and drawing out key policy issues.  A detailed report and WDC Insights summary is published for each sector.

The first examined was Wholesale & Retail which employs just over 42,000 people in the Western Region, this was followed by Health & Care which employs a similar number.  The next in the series, on the Education sector, will be published later in January.

Policy Submissions

One of the big work areas in any year is making submissions to national and regional policy consultations and 2018 proved particularly busy on the submissions front.

The year kicked off with submissions on the Issues Paper published for both the Northern & Western and Southern Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES).  Following the consultation period in early 2018, the Draft RSES documents are currently open for public consultation and we’ll be updating on the WDC’s submissions shortly.

Other submissions during 2018 included EirGrid’s Electricity Transmission Development Plan 2017-2027, Seanad Consultation on SMEs and the National Digital Strategy among others.

City-Led Development & Peripheral Regions

In September the WDC sponsored the Annual Conference of the Irish Branch of the Regional Studies Association.  The programme featured two international keynote speakers: from the US Prof. Mark Partridge and from Scotland Dr Andrew Copus.  Both focused on different aspects of the interaction between rural and urban areas.  The day also included a range of presentations from Irish academics and policymakers including WDC Policy Analyst Dr Helen McHenry.  A report on the conference appeared in the Winter edition of the Local Authority Times.  Read more

WDC Insights Blog

We continued to post an (almost!) weekly blog throughout the year with posts on all of the above publications, outputs and activities.  Other topics ranged from Nuts about NUTS and How many farmers are in the Western Region? to Leprechauns in Invisible Regions, Caring for the West and Is e-working on the increase?

To keep up to date with new WDC Policy Analysis outputs published during 2019, sign-up to our Mailing List.  To receive our weekly WDC Insights Policy blog by e-mail, follow the blog. And to follow us on Twitter we’re @WDCInsights.

And if you want to get in touch with any of us directly, we’re firstnamelastname@wdc.ie

Looking forward to working with you in 2019.

Deirdre Frost, Helen McHenry & Pauline White

Success for WDC Investment Fund Portfolio Companies


WDC Investment Fund portfolio companies have been successful in securing competitive national funding and recognition.

Three companies from the WDC Investment Fund’s portfolio companies have secured €6.7 million in funding from the first round of the Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF). Another two companies have received awards in the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Competition.

Gillian Buckley, Manager of the WDC Investment Fund commented “These successes for five of our portfolio companies show the exceptionally high calibre of innovative companies being developed in the West of Ireland.   These companies are at the very cutting edge of disruptive technology and have the potential to address significant societal and healthcare issues.”

Neurent Medical Ltd has secured €2.9 million from the DTIF.  The company is creating a new therapy for patients suffering from rhinitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the nose. It will give the patient immediate and long-lasting relief from their symptoms and remove the need to take daily medication to manage their condition.

Signum Medical Ltd is developing novel minimally invasive technologies to treat colorectal diseases and have been awarded €1.9 million.

Hookbio Ltd is developing a disruptive technology platform that will allow pharma companies and clinicians to develop more accurate and responsive disease models for drug testing got €1.9 million under the DTIF.

In addition Loci Orthopedics Ltd was successful in winning the overall prize in the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Awards.  While another WDC Investment Fund company supported through the Bioexel Accelerator Programme, HidraMed Solutions Ltd won the Best New Start-up category award.

The WDC Investment Fund is a provider of risk capital to SMEs and Social Enterprises in the Western Region of Ireland and operates on an Evergreen basis reinvesting all profits back into new investments.  It has to date invested over €50 million in 160 commercial and not-for-profit enterprises across all sectors from Lifesciences, ICT, CleanTech, Food, Tourism, Creative Economy and Social and Enterprise Infrastructure.


Further information contact: Caroline Coffey, 094 9861441 |carolinecoffey@wdc.ie



Ministers Ring and Canney announce €500,000 in extra funding for the Western Development Commission (WDC)

 Funding will support the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative and Western Investment Fund.

Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, and Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, today (10 December 2018), announced additional funding of €500,000 for the Western Development Commission (WDC) to support the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative and to maximise the use of the Western Investment Fund which provides financing for micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Western region.

Speaking at a meeting of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, Minister Canney said: “The AEC project is a collaborative initiative, with public and private stakeholders working together to develop the strengths and assets of the cities and towns along our western seaboard, from Donegal to Kerry.”

“The aim of the project is to connect the economic clusters and catchment areas of the region to attract investment, support job creation and improve the quality of life of the people who live there.  The project is overseen by the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce, which I chair, involving key stakeholders from the public and private sectors who share a common vision for the growth of the region.“

Minister Canney continued: “As the AEC initiative develops and grows, the importance of strengthening the collaboration between stakeholders and in communicating our message is paramount.   I have therefore asked the Western Development Commission to take on a co-ordinating role to support the work of the AEC Taskforce and its Subgroups. The support and knowledge that the WDC can bring to the AEC project at regional level will be invaluable to my Department and to the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor project as a whole.”

To support the WDC in this work, Minister Ring said: “With Minister Canney, I have secured €500,000 in additional funding for the WDC for 2019, which will help them to strengthen their resources, both to support the AEC project and to maximise the impact of the Western Investment Fund which provides investment for micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Western region.  I want to thank the Board and Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission for agreeing to carry out this new AEC coordination role and my Department looks forward to working closely with the Commission to help deliver on the AEC’s objectives.”

The announcement comes just weeks after projects based in the AEC region secured €50 million in investment from three Government funds to support rural and urban regeneration and enterprise development.

Tomás Ó Síocháin, Chief Executive Officer of the WDC, said: “There is significant alignment between the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and the goal of the Western Development Commission in building a sustainable future for vibrant communities. The work of the AEC Taskforce will benefit the full length of the western seaboard. The WDC, in co-ordinating business, state and community effort, can bring the benefit of 20 years of investment, development and policy experience to bear in helping the AEC to become a globally competitive region of scale.”



Note for Editors:

Atlantic Economic Corridor

The Atlantic Economic Corridor is a collaborative initiative between the public and private sectors to maximise the assets along Ireland’s western seaboard and connect the economic hubs, clusters and catchments of the region to attract investment, support job creation and contribute to the Government’s regional development objectives.

The counties covered by the AEC area are: Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, and Kerry.

The AEC initiative is overseen by a Taskforce chaired by Minister Canney.  The Taskforce comprises representatives from key Government Departments, public bodies, the business sector, local and regional government bodies and Third Level Institutions. For further information, see www.atlanticeconomiccorridor.ie.


Western Development Commission and Western Investment Fund

The Western Development Commission is a statutory body under the aegis of the Department of Rural and Community Development that has the remit to promote both social and economic development in the western counties of Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare.  The WDC also adds value and regional focus to the work of national bodies, and actively engages with regional interests to initiate projects that build on the region’s strengths.

The WDC Investment Fund provides investment funding for Businesses, Community and Creative Industries, based in, or relocating to, the Western Region that are able to demonstrate they can provide a return on investment consummate with the investment risk being taken.

For further information, see www.wdc.ie.

Smart Atlantic Way: roadmap to a smarter future in the West of Ireland launched

A ground-breaking new report was launched by the Western Development Commission and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in the Council Chamber in Roscommon. The report entitled “Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region”, does exactly what it suggests. It provides a roadmap for a Smart Region along Ireland’s Atlantic Coast.

There are 5 main pillars described in the report:

Priority 1: Smart Regional Observatory
Priority 2: Data Infrastructure and Services
Priority 3: E-Governance
Priority 4: Smart Business Network
Priority 5: Smart Communities

The report was officially launched by Ivan Connaughton the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council. Mathieu D’Aquin, the head of Insight in NUI Galway and lead author of the report presented on behalf of Insight and Clodagh Barry presented on behalf of the Western Development Commission. Others involved in the launch included, Stephen Brennan – Ireland’s Chief Digital Advisor, Jeremy Millard – European eGov advisor, Adegboyega Ojo – Head of eGov at Insight, Niall Connolly – NUI Maynooth and All Ireland Smart Cities Forum, Carmel Austin – Mayo County Council GIS Officer, Niall Ó Brolcháin, Lukasz Porwol and Umair ul Hassan all from Insight in NUI Galway. Over 100 people were registered to attend the launch both in a packed council chamber and online.

According to Mathieu D’Aquin, “Our Smart Region in the North-West of Europe has great assets that can be used to make it compete with the most advanced economies in Europe and the World. This will require time, leadership, commitment and investment.”

“Designing and implementing a Smart Region capability in the West of Ireland is a key step to addressing disparity and distance issues facing non-urban environments”, according to Ian Brannigan (Head of Regional Development WDC). “The integration of the internet of things with cost and labour saving physical devices will go a long way to unlocking potential in the Region. As such the Western Development Commission is excited to work with regional stakeholders, including the Insights centre for data analytics to initiate the steps to ensure the West of Ireland Region achieves its aim to become the Smart Atlantic Way”, said Ian Brannigan.

“I am delighted to send my best wishes to the attendees at the launch of the report, Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region in Roscommon today. I look forward to working closely with the WDC and other organisations as we strive to develop a smart region that will be of benefit to us all”, said Oliver Daniels, CEO Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

“As the new CEO of the Western Development Commission I see today’s launch in Roscommon of the report, Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region as a key plank in the platform for future growth across the region. This roadmap offers the opportunity to enable sustainable decision making at all levels, and in the longer term will build a dynamic skills base that will facilitate balanced regional development both within the region and against benchmark comparator regions across the world”, said Tomás Ó Siocháin, CEO Western Development Commission.

The full report is available at http://smartatlanticway.ie

A video of the launch is available online at https://www.facebook.com/smartatlanticway


Blue Circular Economy – An initiative to support Marine plastics fishing gear recycling with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Aelsund.

The Western Development Commission with partners has recently been awarded funding from the Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic programme for an initiative to support a solution to reuse and recycle fishing gear from our sea’s called “(Blue Circular Economy BCE)”.  The first partner meeting by the BCE consortium aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering products and services within the marine derived plastics sector in the region to attain a greater market reach. Building on the network developed under the Circular Ocean initiative, (http://www.circularocean.eu ), (2015-2018), the project will set up a multi-level cluster to connect and support relevant SMEs in the region.

BCE is funded by the NPA programme with partners in Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Greenland. The goal is to combine new innovative technologies with locally available natural resources, and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and identify possibilities to use renewable energy.

The event was organised and Chaired by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the speakers included:

  • Environmental Research institute. North Highland College UHI (Scotland)
  • Western Development Commission  (Ireland)
  • The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts (UK)
  • Arctic Technology Centre (Greenland)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)

The Blue Circular Economy project will use the Regio Stars 2016 award winning project Circular Ocean as a springboard to accelerate and further the market reach of SMEs utilising marine derived plastic. Specifically BCE will capitalise on the substantial groundwork undertaken by Circular Ocean, especially with regards to creating awareness of both the issue and potential solutions, the piloting of novel uses of fishing nets (3-D printing, building materials, and waste water treatment), and developing an extensive network of relevant stakeholders including SMEs, entrepreneurs, local authorities, and NGOs.

Full project details and launch expected in early 2019.


Tomás Ó Síocháin CEO | Western Development Commission

WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin acknowledges the contribution of Minister Seán Kyne during his tenure in the Department of Rural and Community Development

The Western Development Commission has today (Wednesday 17th October 2018) welcomed the appointment of Minister Seán Canney as Minister of State to the Department of Rural and Community Development. The appointment follows the allocation of €500,000 in additional funding to the Western Development Commission in Budget 2019, which will allow the WDC to further its work in key areas to promote the economic and social development of the West in 2019.

The Western Development Commission, established by statute in 1998, advises the Government on policy for the western region, plays a key role in regional development, supports small and medium business through the Western Investment Fund and raises the social, cultural and economic profile of the west through lookwest.ie and other initiatives.

The additional funding of €62m for the Department of Rural and Community Development in this year’s budget is to be welcomed. Particularly welcome in the context of the west;

  • Key transport investment projects in the region including completion of the N4 Castlebaldwin-Collooney road, improving connection to the key regional centre of Sligo, and completion of the runway overlay project at Ireland West Airport Knock.
  • Pavement repair and rehabilitation works on regional and local roads which play a crucial role in ensuring connectivity of rural areas.
  • Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs and the agriculture and food sector, in the context of preparing for Brexit.
  • Extension of the film corporation tax credit until December 2024 and in particular the introduction of a new, time-limited, regional uplift of an additional 5%, which will support the work of the WDC €2m WRAP Fund.

Tomás Ó Síocháin CEO of the WDC, welcomed the appointment, saying: ‘I look forward to working with Minister Seán Canney and the Department of Community and Rural Development on further aligning the work and delivery of state agencies in the west. I also want to congratulate Minister Seán Kyne on his appointment as Chief Whip and Aire na Gaeltachta, and to thank him for his commitment to regional development during his time as Minister.’

Read more about the initiatives such as the €2m WRAP Strategic Investment Fund in the audio visual sector in the west and the other work of the Western Development Commission at www.wdc.ie . See what living and working in the west offers on www.lookwest.ie


Note for editors:

Further information contact: Caroline Coffey, WDC 094 9861441 |carolinecoffey@wdc.ie