Written Answers. - Industrial Development.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

107 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of start-up grants provided by Enterprise Ireland to companies in County Kerry in 2002; the amount of funding allocated in each such case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10689/03]

Enterprise Ireland is the development agency with responsibility for Kerry south, while Shannon Development is the development agency with responsibility for Kerry north.

Enterprise Ireland supported one significant new start-up enterprise in south Kerry in 2002. The company, CnG Hotels Limited, which currently employs approximately 40 people, is based in Kenmare and is involved in the on-line hotel reservations business. The Deputy will understand that I cannot give details of payments made to individual companies in 2002 as such information is still commercially sensitive. However, details will be published in the Enterprise Ireland 2002 annual report not later than 30 June next as by then the information will be historical.

As part of its role in regional development, Enterprise Ireland works with organisations within south Kerry to create the infrastructural supports that facilitate the start up of embryonic business. One such measure has been the approval of capital grant assistance for the second phase of the KTI centre in Killarney of €183,487 under the EI community enterprise scheme 2002. The availability of KTI incubation space has been instrumental in helping a number of small projects get started. There are currently 60 people employed in companies located in the facility.
Furthermore, under Enterprise Ireland's regional innovation strategies infrastructural support programme for the establishment of campus business incubation centres, the institute of technology in Tralee has recently been awarded a capital grant of €1.97 million. The new centre will focus on start-up enterprises in the strategically important ICT and biotechnology sectors. The centre is expected, within six years, to lead to the development of 22 successful enterprises, generating 82 local jobs of which 80% will be graduates.
With regard to Shannon Development, Kerry Technology Park continues to gain momentum and there are currently 16 early start-up companies employing 160 people on the park.
In 2002, eight feasibility and early stage seed capital support packages were approved by Shannon Development giving a total grant package value of €251,840 for new knowledge based enterprises. Furthermore, Shannon Development approved four substantial investment packages including equity to support R & D and export marketing initiatives in new knowledge based enterprises. The total value of these approvals was €1.195 million.