My Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is an effective policy instrument particularly as a complement to the Regional Enterprise Plans and was introduced to support the development and implementation of collaborative and innovative projects that can sustain and add to employment at county, regional and national level. To date, through an allocation of €60 million over two competitive calls, 42 projects have been supported by the REDF nationwide, with the MERITS project referenced by the Deputy securing €1,917,200 in grant support under Call One of the REDF.
The MERITS hub is one of the projects funded under Call 1 of the REDF. The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) located in Naas County Kildare is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies and provide them with mentorship and support, including the provision of co-working and office space for up to 100 people. The project is supported by strong collaboration with Kildare County Council, Maynooth University/ MaynoothWorks, Kildare Chamber and the three Mid East LEOs (Kildare, Meath & Wicklow).
As regards an update on the MERITS project, clearance works have been completed on the site and I have been advised by Enterprise Ireland that the construction tendering process is now concluded and that the build works will commence in the coming days.
The Deputy may also wish to note that I announced a €45 million third call of the REDF in June 2019 which closed in September 2019. I expect that successful projects under this call will be announced by the end of this year.