Enterprise growth as development centres fill up in Laois

Leinster Express Reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Express Reporter

portlaoise portarlington

Denise Rainey ( Business Development Officer- BSU ) and Mary Keogh ( Centre Manager ) at the official opening of PEC Innovation Hub & Fab Lab in Portarlington . Pic: Michael Scully

Portlaoise and Portarlington enterprise centres are now full county councillors have been told.

Politicans were updated on progress centres at a recent meetings.

Portlaoise's manager Patricia Frayne said the county town's centre supports up to 30 people in various businesses.

The 21,200 sq foot includes five hot desks, nine offices, a training room and two industrial units, with free wifi and broadband and 24 hour access for clients.

“We are full at the moment, we do operate a waiting list. Development is very strong at the moment. I work closely with Portarlington and give them a call but a lot of people want to be based in Portlaoise,”said Ms Frayne.

The Co-ordinator of Portarlington Enterprise Centre Mary Keogh reported similar demand.

Port’s enterprise centre was relaunched as the MakePort Innovation Hub this summer.

The 13,000 sq foot facility supports 39 jobs. It offers 11 units, four offices, two fixed offices, 10 hot desks, two training rooms and the ‘MakePort’ space which has tech equipment including a 3D printer for community and business use.

The hub’s hot desks are aimed at supporting commuters living in Portarlington she said.

“Portarlington is a commuter town, this gives them a chance to get off the road for a day or two each week and achieve a better work life balance. Our MakePort space is to build a skill set in Portarlington for tech jobs in the future,” Ms Keogh explained.

Cllr Tom Mulhall is on the board in Portarlington.

“There could be 3,000 people commuting from Portarlington town. This is a wonderful asset to have. We are the second largest Laois town and there is great business potential,” he said.

Cllr Paschal McEvoy noted that Ms Keogh was the only full time employee and only worked 29 hours a week yet had “the place full” and told her “well done”.

Cllr James Kelly urged businesses to contact the Mountrath enterprise hub which, he said received regeneration.

“ If they come to Mountrath we will be ready for them,” he said.

Cllr Pauline Madigan is on the Portlaoise Enterprise Board.

“It is interesting to hear the hub is full. The demand is very clearly there and continues to grow, it is clear more space is needed,” she said.