The Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 is an enterprise focused document that is the result of a refresh and refocus of the Midlands Regional Action Plans for Jobs 2015-2017 (RAPJ) to ensure its relevance and impact out to 2020, so that it continues to deliver jobs across the Midlands region and can be robust to address the challenges we face, including Brexit.
I launched the new Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 for the Midlands on the 6th February in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. This was the first of nine Regional Enterprise Plans that I launched during February and March. The first Steering Committee meeting for the Midlands under the new Plan will take on the 28th March 2019.
Dr Anne Cusack, Managing Director of Critical Healthcare is the Chair of the Midlands Regional Steering Committee. I appointed Dr Cusack to the role of Chair in July 2018, as successor to Mr Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive of Westmeath Co. Council.
It will be a matter for the Chair and Committee members to decide on the frequency of meetings however I can advise the Deputy that there will be formal biannual meetings of the Steering Committee for the period of the Plan.
In addition, I will meet with the Chairs of all nine Regional Steering Committees collectively later this year to discuss progress on the Plans. The Committee through its Chair will provide a formal Progress Report to my Department at the end of 2019 and 2020, which will be published.
The Regional Steering Committee for the Midlands is the same (renamed) Implementation Committee established by my Department under the previous Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017. Membership of the Committee under the old RAPJs was drawn from industry, local authorities, Enterprise Agencies, the education sector, and other key stakeholders and agencies. Locally based ‘enterprise champions’ are also appointed to each Regional Implementation Committee to work with the public bodies on the implementation of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs.
My Department is currently in the process of re-confirming the membership of the Regional Steering Committee and the ‘enterprise champions’ that will operate under the new Regional Enterprise Plan. To date, the following is the composition of the Regional Steering Committee which will be subject to some update over the coming weeks that will reflect the focus in the new Plan and address any personnel changes in the respective organisations:
- Enterprise Champions (to be confirmed)
- Laois County Council
- Longford County Council
- Offaly County Council
- Westmeath County Council
- Enterprise Ireland
- IDA Ireland
- Local Enterprise Office Laois
- Local Enterprise Office Longford
- Local Enterprise Office Offaly
- Local Enterprise Office Westmeath
- Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly
- Regional Skills Forum – Midland Region
- Laois & Offaly Education & Training Board
- Longford & Westmeath Education & Training Board
- Athlone Institute of Technology
- Fáilte Ireland
- Bord Bia
- Bord Na Móna
- Waterways Ireland
- Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation
- Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
- Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
- Department of Rural and Community Development