Regional Enterprise Plan 'not about county boundaries'

'People quite happy to travel from county to county' says Minister

Lynda Kiernan

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Lynda Kiernan

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news@leinsterexpress.ie


People are "quite happy to travel" out of the county for work, the Minister for Enterprise has claimed.

Speaking in Laois this Wednesday at the launch of a new two year plan for four midlands counties, Minister Heather Humphreys said it was "not about county boundaries."

Asked by the Leinster Express what actions will follow the plan to create jobs specifically in Laois and ease a two hour commute for over 10,000 Laois residents, the Minister said the plan was "not about county boundaries."

"You see its not about county boundaries, its about regions, because people in the country as we well know are quite happy to travel from one county to another," Minister Humphreys said.

She was speaking at the MDA in Mountmellick to launch the Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 for the midlands counties Longford, Westmeath, Offaly and Laois.

She was accompanied by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in his home town, and Minister for Communication and climate action Richard Bruton.  

"Its about working together. You look at the strong work ethic, the long tradition there is in this town alone, so it's working to those strengths, its about bringing the people together and showcasing this region and what it has to offer and I believe it has a lot to offer," the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said.

"What this plan does is identify a number of key objectives and work on those strengths and develop more opportunities because what we want to see is this region as an attractive place in which to invest, in which to set up a business, in which to work and live," she said. 

The three ministers launched the plan in the MDA where a community group has turned a disused mill into a thriving business and community centre employing 110 people. It will add a 50 desk digital hub in March followed by the Beale Centre by June for new and expanding businesses and third level courses, funded by government grants.

Minister Flanagan in his speech noted that "in excess of 10,000 people leave north county Laois every day to work in Dublin".

"The objective must be, instead of bringing people to jobs, we must bring jobs to people," he said.