Drumshanbo Food Hub
Drumshanbo Food Hub are planning to create more jobs and increase the number of food businesses to the town through expansion and development following their grant of €953,640.
The business plans to expand the food space by over 9,000 square foot and is looking to include other sites around Drumshanbo in the expansion.
The hub is projecting 137 jobs by 2020, but at least 50 new jobs is expected to be created in the next 18 months.
Manager of the Food Hub Fergal McPartland told the paper “we are very excited to be awarded this funding.”
He explained the hub has been working at full capacity in the last few years and has had to turn down opportunities and businesses looking to relocate to the successful centre.
The Food Hub say with expanded food grade facilities they will attract more businesses and they have already been approached by businesses in Northern Ireland who are interested in relocating.
The Manager said they hope to benefit from the uncertainty over Brexit and will work with Northern Ireland producers to bring their companies south of the border.
The company are also developing food distribution solutions for small family run businesses to share transport for national sales as well as programmes to help successful businesses to export their goods.
The Food Hub will not only benefit Drumshanbo and Leitrim but the entire North West, Mr McPartland said part of their programme is to help attract food businesses to the region.
There are 80 people currently employed at the Food Hub and Mr McPartland said their existing businesses are “eager to expand.”
The long term goal is to develop a range of food producers and work with tourism to help attract people to the region, Drumshanbo and Leitrim will be a Food Destination.
This €953,640 funding is exactly what they applied for and it is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development.
Mr McPartland explained the Food Hub went for the funding last year but were unsuccessful. Companies must make their presentations within 12 minutes in front of a “Dragons Den” table of judges. They made the necessary tweaks and are ecstatic to hear the news they were successful.
He thanked Chairperson Enda McGloin, Orla Casey Momentum Marketing, Leitrim County Council and Joe Lowe from Leitrim Enterprise for their hard work on the plans.
Deputy Tony McLoughlin welcomed the news saying "it is a testament to the strong applications that were submitted by the local committees involved. As a Government we need to continually challenge ourselves on how to create jobs outside of the main cities. That’s exactly what this fund does. It will directly support innovative projects in our regions and, in doing so, help to create rural jobs.
“The jobs recovery is finally spreading into the regions with over 1200 new jobs announced in Sligo this year. In the last twelve months, four out five jobs created were outside Dublin and the live register figures in all of our regions are heading in the right direction.”
The Shed Distillery at The Food Hub broke ground on their new €1.5m visitor centre this week also.