Development fund sees potential to create over 200 jobs in Cork

Up to 215 jobs may be created in Cork county as part of an initiative being undertaken through a local authority’s economic development fund.

Cork County Council has earmarked 1% of its yearly rates’ collection to assist job-creating measures.

As part of the project, the council has invested in the Beacon Initiative at Cork Institute of Technology which is identifying companies with the potential to increase their workforces.

Padraig O’Sullivan, who is working with Beacon and the council, has met with 64 established companies.

As a result, he believes there’s potential in the county for 48 companies to provide 215 new jobs.

Council chiefs say Mr O’Sullivan has also identified 13 potential R&D projects and 22 “potential international opportunities” which could boost business interests in Cork county.

The council took the decision two years ago to set up the development fund.

Earlier this week, it decided to double to €1.8m the amount of money it will plough into the fund this year.

Ger Power, the council’s head of finance, said €300,000 will be set aside each between capital projects and part-funded projects with third level institutes. An additional €100,000 will be provide for conferences to promote the county, and €300.000 allocated specifically to joint job-creation initiatives with Cork City Council and Cork Chamber.

“The fund will be used to add value to existing business support agencies. It’s funded from rate income to foster job creation. We’re trying to grow future entrepreneurs in the county and we’re using existing (State) agencies for some parts of the scheme to avoid duplication,” Mr Power said.

The council has recently grant-aided €311,250 to 15 companies for expansion initiatives.

They include food-producing companies, medical device manufacturers, a kayak-building firm a flooring company and fuel management company.

“We have much more flexibility in local government to respond compared to other agencies. It’s a very good news,” county manager Martin Riordan said.

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