Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kilcullen to be Enterprise Town

Kilcullen has been selected by Bank of Ireland to be an 'Enterprise Town' under a €600,000 nationwide initiative to boost economic activity in local areas, writes Brian Byrne.

The idea was launched in 2013 and by the end of last year, more than 50 towns of all sizes around the country had taken part.

Piloted in Kells, Granard and Rathdowney, the initiative supports the organising of an 'Expo' of local businesses and community organisation activities, often bringing together for the first time local enterprises, as well as showing the wider community the variety and number of businesses in their own towns. Schools and social organisations are encouraged to participate.

Among the towns which have already taken part are Headford, Kilkenny, Longford, Skibbereen, Balbriggan, Ballymahon, Enfield, Kilmacud Crokes, Athboy, Midleton, Celbridge, Swinford and Ardee.

Initial discussions on the formation of a working group for a Kilcullen Enterprise Expo are already in train with community development and business groups, with a view to holding it on the weekend of 22 April. The event will be supported by Bank of Ireland resources and expertise provided through the local branch, and there will be a special funding award for a local project.

The initiative will include leadership talks by successful people in business, sport and other competitive fields. Speakers so far have included Gavin Duffy of Dragons' Den; TV chef Rachel Allen; Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte; media executive Norah Casey and Olympic champion boxer Katie Taylor.

Bank of Ireland estimates that more than 28,000 'connections' were made across the different towns involved in 2015.