By Colm Croffy
It's fingers crossed that B.A.C.D. may be third time lucky, as the management team and Executive Board on the Advanced Technology Centre Project have put in huge hours researching and detailing a fresh application, since the last rejection of funding in Winter last year by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Ballinasloe is a proven incubation hub for high potential MedTech and engineering start-ups. MEIC/Glan Agua established in the Enterprise Centre in 2007 with 3 employees. They grew the business to employ 120 people and in 2016 relocated to a 15,000 sq ft workspace in Loughrea (as there was no suitable space offering locally). They are still rapidly expanding and now have over 200 employees. The development of an advanced manufacturing enterprise facility of 15,000 sq is a longstanding multi agency ambition and should prevent future moves of successful start-ups. Specifically targeting relocating medical technology and engineering companies it is also designed to act as a second site for the fast growth companies and a specific focus to attract Brexit relocations.
More than just workspace, it is designed as an integrated package of supports including facilities, a talent pool and education partnership with access to agencies. The application estimates that approximate €2.5 million funding request would secure – the creation of 220 new jobs, injecting an additional €11 million per annum into the local economy. The Total cost of all the projects under the three strands is an ambitious €4.6 mil of investment but the Lion’s share of this – approx. €3.7 being focused on the Enterprising Community element.
The joint application process conducted for BACD and Galway County Council was led by independent Consultants Momentum and included subprograms as outlined in the table. It is hoped that the Nationwide announcement on successful projects will be made by the Department in late November/Early December.
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