€300,000 grant can be boost to job creation in three key Laois towns

Mountrath, Portarlington and Mountmellick to benefit from substantial funding for enterprise focussed projects

€300,000 grant can be boost to job creation in three key Laois towns
Express Reporters

Nearly €290,000 is to be diverted to three projects in Laois under the Town and Village renewal scheme to encourage enterprise and job creation.

A grant of ·€100,000 has been set aside to realise the development of an Enterprise Hub in Mountrath.

Mountmellick is set to benefit from a €100,000 grant to develop a digital hub.

Portarlington is also in line for a big boost. A total of €89,445.08 is on the way to develop phase two of the Portarlington Enterprise Centre.

The Mountrath project is one of several ambitious projects that Mountrath Community Forum has set itself.

The plan is to convert the old Telfords Garage, in the town centre, into an Enterprise Hub for new start-up businesses.

The forum has already signed a lease on the premises.

Cllr James Kelly told the Leinster Express earlier this year that the project had a €200,000 budget. The group has also applied for Leader funding and Enterprise Ireland funding.

Eddie Phelan is also on the forum. He hoped that the hub could bring much needed regeneration to the town centre.

Local entrepreneurs will be able to rent space in the centre which will have five or six units. The forum will offer business mentoring to anyone that needs a little help, and there will be shared secretarial services on site.

Last November, members gave a presentation to the judges at the National Enterprise Town Awards 2016.

Details were not available from Portarlington Enterprise Centre but the funding was welcomed by area representative, Cllr Tom Mulhall. He said he expected that the funds would go towards the upgrade of facilties and equipment.

With up to 11,000 people commuting out of Laois to work each day, the Mountmellick Development Association is set to develop the first Digital Hub in Laois.

According to the MDA Chairman, Paul Dempsey this development will facilitate e-workers who are currently commuting each day.

It will give businesses based in Dublin, or anywhere around the country, an opportunity to lower costs by relocating some or all of their employees to Laois.

This also opens Laois up to UK companies who want to have a footprint in the EU after Brexit.

This Digital Hub will aim to help eliminate the long daily commute for many by providing a vital piece of infrastructure to facilitate the establishment of more jobs in Laois, which has the lowest cost of doing business in Ireland.

“This proposed facility will be ideal for those who want a better “work/life” balance, for local start-ups and for those who want the ability to collaborate with other like-minded entrepreneurs,” Mr Dempsey said.

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