06/03/17

Taoiseach and Minister Ring announce the establishment of new Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister of State for Regional Economic Development at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Michael Ring TD, today (Monday, 6th March 2017) announced the establishment of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce in Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

The concept of the Atlantic Economic Corridor is to contribute to effective regional development by creating sufficient scale along the western part of Ireland to match other regions – and particularly the East coast – in attracting Irish and multinational investment, growing jobs and supporting vibrant local communities.

The Taskforce will provide a platform for collaboration between stakeholders from the private sector, the public sector and the wider community, to identify how best an economic corridor can be created along the Atlantic seaboard, while ensuring that it is aligned with the new National Planning Framework.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Taskforce in Castlebar, An Taoiseach said: 

“The proposal for an Atlantic Economic Corridor, which was developed by the business community in the West last year, will play an important role in encouraging effective regional development.  The Government has decided to establish this Taskforce to enable a collaborative approach to be taken to progress and accelerate the proposal.  We have many excellent assets to support a strong value proposition for investment along the western seaboard, but we need co-ordinated action to maximise the potential of those assets.  The Regional Action Plan on Jobs West also seeks to build upon the local strengths of the region and today brings together the organisations that can work together to help achieve this.

Following the launch of Realising our Rural Potential: The Action Plan for Rural Development last January, the establishment of this Taskforce is one of the actions committed to in the plan.  Last month, we launched a public consultation on the National Planning Framework.  These are two initiatives that the Government has set about identifying how we can achieve more effective regional development in order to share the benefits of economic and social progress throughout the country.  The Taskforce will provide an effective platform for collaboration between the public, private and community sectors.  It will also develop a programme of practical steps to progress the longer term objective of the project.”

Minister for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring, who will chair the Taskforce, said:

“Progressing the concept of an Atlantic Economic Corridor is an important commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government and in the Action Plan for Rural Development which was launched last January.

There is huge potential in the area covered by the proposed Atlantic Economic Corridor.  It is absolutely vital that we work together – that is the public sector, private sector and the community sector – to ensure that we maximise this potential in terms of natural resources, tourism, infrastructure and human capital, to increase the prosperity of the region and bring new investment to the cities and towns along the Atlantic seaboard.  It is important, also, that through the Atlantic Economic Corridor, we create new opportunities for rural communities in the region.

This is a long-term project, but I want the Taskforce to achieve a number of short-term objectives over the coming months which will get us off to a good start.  I want to thank those who have agreed to join the Taskforce and I look forward us to working together to progress this important proposal”.

ENDS

Note to Editors

The establishment of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce builds on a proposal for the development of an Atlantic Economic Corridor, published last year by the Chambers of Commerce of Limerick, Shannon, Ennis, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, and Sligo and the American Chamber of Commerce.

The aim of the Atlantic Economic Corridor concept is to develop a region of scale to match the success of Dublin and Cork in developing infrastructure, attracting Irish and multinational investment, and growing jobs and wealth in vibrant communities.  To achieve this, the potential of the area covered by the Corridor, in terms of natural resources, tourism, etc., needs to maximised, and the necessary infrastructure needs to be put in place to facilitate this.

The Atlantic Economic Corridor Taskforce will be chaired by Minister of State Michael Ring, T.D., and includes senior representatives from the business community, key Government Departments, public bodies, Third Level Institutions, and the wider community.

Key objectives of the Taskforce will be to:

  • Provide a platform for engagement between stakeholders from the private and public sectors and the wider community to consider how best an economic corridor can be created to maximise the potential of the region.
  • Conduct a detailed analysis of the potential of the region and the issues that need to be addressed to maximise that potential.
  • Identify short-to-medium-term actions which can be taken to reach the longer-term goals of the Atlantic Economic Corridor, and work collectively to implement those actions.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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