Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 29 Jan 1992

Vol. 415 No. 1

Written Answers. - Arigna Task Force Recommendations.

Gerry Reynolds


95 Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Energy if he will outline the progress made to date in the implementation of the recommendations of the Arigna Task Force.

I have been informed that up to December 1991 loans and grants totalling £549,450 have been approved by the Arigna Fund Enterprise Company from the £1 million fund set up following the publication of the Arigna Task Force report. This involves 40 projects and the creation of approximately 114 jobs in the area. To date £302,700 has been paid over in respect of those projects.

In addition to the enterprise fund, a full-time co-ordinator/facilitator was appointed for 1991 to progress the various ideas in the task force report. This person's contract has now been renewed for a further year. The provision of four managed community enterprise workshops for the Arigna area is at an advanced stage and a wide range of retraining programmes for ex-miners was conducted and these will continue.

During last year, a core group in the area has worked with the local communities and State agencies in drawing up a rural development plan for the Arigna catchment area and this was submitted to Brussels for aid under the Leader Programme. I understand from the Minister for Agriculture that the EC Commission will be announcing formal approval for this shortly. The enterprise fund has also made application to the EC to have the Arigna area designated as eligible for funding from the European Coal and Steel Community which provides assistance for the economic rehabilitation of former coal mining areas following mine closures.
The promotion of the area for overseas investment in industry and for its natural scenic and tourism amenities is being actively pursued by the relevant Departments and State agencies involved.