There was a net gain of 116 jobs in Udaras na Gaeltachta supported companies in Donegal last year.
The authority's end of year report has just been published, showing a total of 208 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht in 2015, but 92 jobs were lost.
Udaras says there were 2,058 full-time equivalent jobs in Údarás client companies at the end of the year, the highest number of jobs since 2009.
New projects for the Donegal Gaeltacht were approved which will see 449 new jobs created with an expected investment of over €37 million when fully operational.
Communications & Marketing Manager with Udaras na Gaeltachta Siubhán Nic Grianna the future is also looking promising:
Donegal section of the report in full -
A total of 208 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht in 2015. When job losses are taken into consideration, there was a significant net increase of 116 jobs overall. There were 2,058 full-timeequivalent jobs in Údarás client companies at the end of the year, the highest number of jobs since 2009. Employment was created in companies throughout the Donegal Gaeltacht, such as Arán Ard Teo in Ard an Rátha; Randox Teo and Feamainn Thír Chonaill Teo in An Clochán Liath; R.A. Pacáistí Teo, Fáisc Miotail Teo and Meastóirí Domhanda in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park; and Cora Tine Teo in An Fál Carrach.
Furthermore, an tÚdarás last year approved a number of new projects for the Donegal Gaeltacht in which 449 new jobs will be created with an expected investment of over €37 million when fully operational. Support for Randox Teo was approved to assist the company in undertaking the major expansion planned for An Clochán Liath. Support was also approved for other projects; these include Plaisteach Bhaile na Finne Teo and Bia Beo Natasha Teo which will begin trading early in 2016 in Baile na Finne and in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park respectively.
Seven new businesses in total were established last year and there were close to 20 people already employed in those enterprise by the end of the year, including for example Meastóirí Domhanda Teo in Gaoth Dobhair Business Park and Feamainn Thír Chonaill Teo in An Clochán Liath.
Enterprise Development Plan for the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park
In March an tÚdarás published its development plan, Enterprise Development on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park, which focused on increasing employment and fostering enterprise development in north-west Donegal, with the stated objective of supporting the creation of 300 new jobs and investing €4.7 million in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park over a three-year period (2015–2017).
For the past year and a half, an tÚdarás has placed specific emphasis on this area and as a result:
- 449 new jobs have been approved in new projects coming on steam over the next few years;
- three new start-ups have been established in the Áislann on the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park;
- there are new investments planned or currently being undertaken by companies such as Arán Ard Teo in Ard an Rátha; Euroflex Teo and Bia Beo Natasha Teo in the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park; and Cora Tine Teo in An Fál Carrach;
- a further €440,000 is being invested by an tÚdarás in Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair, resulting in the provision of 10 new enterprise units for new projects and the completion of works on the adjacent car park;
- Údarás facilitated 10 site visits to the Gaoth Dobhair Business Park by entrepreneurs seeking to establish new businesses. Negotiations are ongoing in relation to some of these business enquiries;
- promotional and marketing material have been developed and a PR campaign is being initiated to raise the profile of the Donegal area as a suitable location for business;
- manufacturing space in the former Largo Foods premises is being modified to provide further production capacity for companies Cóin agus Abhlanna Teo, Kombucha Éireann Teo and Bia Beo Natasha Teo;
- an tÚdarás is working with the local chamber of commerce, Cumann Tráchtála agus Tionscal Ghaoth Dobhair, on a number of projects that aim to promote the local economy, including the preparation of a tourism development plan for the area.
Companies in other parts of the Donegal Gaeltacht continued to develop throughout the year and increased their production capability, these include Snáth Dhún na nGall and Cuan Tamhnaigh Teo. An tÚdarás constructed a new waste water treatment system in Eastát Bhaile Mún, and undertook works on the infrastructure in the vicinity of Eastát Tionsclaíochta Chill Charthaigh. A premises on the Údarás Industrial Estate in Na Dúnaibh was redeveloped and is now home to Uppiddee Teo, a technology-based enterprise which employed seven people at year end.
The LEADER Programme for Donegal was announced and it is expected that €3 million will be allocated under this programme for the Donegal Gaeltacht and its islands. Údarás na Gaeltachta and Comhar na nOileán Teo (on the islands) will be administering the LEADER Programme in the Gaeltacht for the next 5-year period.
Social Employment Schemes
A total of 314 people were employed on social employment schemes in the Donegal Gaeltacht at the end of the year. These schemes are managed and administered by an tÚdarás and funded by the Department of Social Protection.
Throughout the year, three Language Planning Areas (LPAs) were announced for the Donegal Gaeltacht. Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór Teo was selected as the lead organisation for theÁrainn Mhór LPA. Toraigh LPA and Tuaisceart Dhún na nGall LPA were announced at the end of September last year, applications were sought from organisations/community groups interested in preparing language plans in those LPAs and the two lead organisations will be announced in due course. Hence, 6 lead organisations will be preparing language plans for their respective LPA’s in 2016. It is expected that Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair will submit a language plan for the LPA of Gaoth Dobhair, Rann na Feirste, Anagaire agus Loch an Iúir to the Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for approval in the middle of 2016.