Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton TD praised the performance of the Border Midland and Western (BMW) Regional Assembly in their role as the Managing Authority for the BMW Regional Operational Programme, at the recent launch of the Assembly’s Annual Report 2011.
In her address to invited guests at the Assembly’s Chamber in Ballaghaderren, she stated that the Assembly was an “uncontested success story” in fulfilling their role which has contributed to the social and economic development of the BMW Region. Minister Creighton highlighted the figures quoted by Gerry Finn, Director of the Assembly, whereby under the current 2007-2012 programming period the Assembly has reported expenditure of 89% of total funding to-date. The Minister noted that this was achieved in the face of a significantly constrained economic environment and illustrated the Assembly’s flexibility and ability to overcome budgetary challenges as they have arisen.
Mr Finn outlined the range of activities undertaken by the Assembly during 2011. This comprised of a major research publication examining the innovation system which included an evaluation of the performance of enterprises and third level colleges within this system.
He also highlighted the continued roll out of the Assembly’s €17.15m EU co-financed Gateways and Hubs Scheme. Funding is provided under this scheme for significant urban development projects in the Regions Gateways – Athlone, Dundalk Mullingar, Tullamore, Galway, Sligo, Letterkenny and in the associated Hub Towns of Ballina, Castlebar, Monaghan, Cavan and Tuam.