Ministerial recognition for ‘strong performing’ local business sector

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Redmond TD, visited Roscommon Local Enterprise Office (LEO) last Monday, where he met with Local Enterprise staff and local businesses.

A total of 128 new local jobs were created by LEO-supported companies in Roscommon last year, according to recent job figures. More than €2.1 million funding has also been approved by Roscommon LEO to 73 businesses in the last five years supporting their start-up, growth and innovation plans. An impressive 1092 businesses also availed of LEO Roscommon training last year. Almost three hundred local businesses, 292 in total, received mentoring from Roscommon LEO in 2023 to support local entrepreneurs develop their capacities and skillsets. A further 25 Roscommon businesses received Trading Online Vouchers in 2023, helping them transition to eCommerce business models.

During his visit, Minister Richmond met with three Roscommon businesses, from whom he gained considerable insight into the vibrant, yet diverse, small to medium sized business sector in the county.

The minister first met Timea Kovacs, who set up ‘The Best Free From’ – an artisan bakery established in August 2020 from her home in Clonalis, Castlerea.

Minister Richmond also met with management of the award-winning Waldron Meats from Brideswell in South Roscommon.

Waldron Meats are stocked in over 200 outlets, including all leading multiples and retail chains. The business has also recently expanded into UK export markets.

Minister Richmond also met Lydia Clayton who, based in Athleague, has gained considerable experience as a goldsmith and jeweller since 2013. In 2022 she launched her own business, Lydia Clayton Goldsmith, which designs and creates commissioned jewellery for customers.

With a proven record of delivery, LEO Roscommon in collaboration with Roscommon County Council have been to the forefront of efforts to help grow entrepreneurship and support businesses. This has been demonstrated by the continued expansion of An Chistin Food Hub in Castlerea which will provide seven units for food production businesses and is currently in the process of being completed. Meanwhile, a new 14,000 square foot Innovation Centre in Monksland is also nearing completion and will represent an opportunity to incubate a new generation of high value start-ups in the region.

Welcoming Minister Richmond to Roscommon, the Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, Shane Tiernan said the minister’s visit was a strong endorsement of the success and delivery of LEO supports to established and emerging businesses in the county.

“I was delighted to welcome Minister Neale Richmond to Roscommon County Council and the Local Enterprise Office”, he said. “As we approach the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Local Enterprise Office network, it is appropriate to acknowledge its immense successes.

“Despite operating in a challenging environment for the last number of years, I am delighted that the level of entrepreneurship in Roscommon has continued to grow and will grow into the future”.

Senior Enterprise Development Officer with Local Enterprise Office Roscommon, Enda Cannon, also welcomed the minister’s visit: “We were delighted to welcome the minister on his visit last Monday. Meeting with established and new businesses, Minister Richmond saw first-hand the dynamic enterprise and innovation culture that exists within County Roscommon. Minister Richmond’s visit reflects his and his Department’s commitment to vigorously support local businesses in counties such as Roscommon”, said Mr. Cannon.