The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is an initiative of my Department and is administered on the Department’s behalf by Enterprise Ireland. The competitive Fund is aimed at driving enterprise development and job creation in all regions in the country through supporting collaborative and innovative projects that develop enterprises and create jobs in each of the regions. The Fund complements the Regional Enterprise Plans which I launched earlier this year, that are focused on bringing forward key collaborative actions and projects to drive enterprise development and sustainable jobs in the regions.
Call 1 of the REDF was launched in 2017 and funded 21 projects with a total of just over €30 million. A second call launched in April 2018 and allocated just over €29 million across a further 21 projects. I recently launched a new Call 3, with an additional €45 million which will close for applications on September 25th.
The MERITS hub is one of the projects funded under Call 1 of the REDF. The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies and provide mentorship and support in Naas County Kildare. The project is supported by strong collaboration with Kildare County Council, Maynooth University/ MaynoothWorks, Kildare Chamber and the 3 Mid East LEOs (Kildare, Meath & Wicklow).
I am informed through Enterprise Ireland that the build completion date for the MERITS hub is estimated to be October 2020, with the occupation date estimated to be during the period November to December 2020.
Enterprise Ireland have been informed that as of the 17th of July tenders have been issued for the appointment of contractors for the build and development of the site. The tender will be awarded in early September and building works commence in mid-September.