The cross-local authority collaboration exemplified by the Three Sisters’ bid ought to be tapped into when it comes to developing a wider, south east economic strategy.
That’s the view of New Ross-based County Councillor Michael Sheehan (FF) who feels that a “broader spectrum of a regional plan” ought to be developed, “similar to the border counties within the ‘BMW’ region, pulling together and working on an economic development initiative”.
Taking in the ports of Rosslare, Wexford, New Ross, Belview and Waterford’s North Quay, along with a developmental arc spanning from Rosslare to Dungarvan, Cllr Sheehan called for the introduction of urban economic development zone across the region’s ‘second tier’ centres.
This, he feels, should include a three year VAT rebate scheme, in which new businesses (and existing businesses restoring their premises) could claim back €10,000 a year for three years.
“I know there are like-minded Councillors in our neighbouring counties who have a similar view to mine when it comes to regional development. Just imagine what we could achieve if we came together and developed a collaborative, united strategy.”
Meanwhile, Ireland South MEP believes the south east should draw on the Three Sisters experience and work together to tap into EU Horizon 20/20 funding to generate new high end jobs for the region.
Ms Clune cited successful EU funding applications by Waterford-based companies such as Sedicii Innovations, WIT and Wexford firms including Landmark as “examples of how we can use EU innovation funds to create local high end jobs in the South East”.