MOST of Clare – apart from the Ennis-Shannon corridor – has been excluded from a new Regional Aid map of the country, which will result in it being precluded from getting support for industry.
The June Monthly Management Report of Clare County Council explained the situation.
“The new Irish Regional Aid Map covers the period 2022–2027 and has implications for enterprise investment in that areas excluded from the map become ineligible for regional aid.
“In this regard, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment are tasked with the preparation of a new regional aid map for Ireland and the Mid-West region.
“Clare County Council in conjunction with the other local authorities of the Mid West i.e. Limerick and Tipperary, made a submission to the above Department in respect of the preparation of a new Regional Aid Map for Ireland.
“The Mid-West submission raised several concerns not least the fact that only 39% of the region can now offer regional aid for inward investment purposes.
“The submission also raised concerns over the lack of consultation with local authorities in the preparation of the new Regional Aid Map for the Mid-West.
“It highlighted the fact that local authorities are large landowners of land and property zoned for development in their respective counties and expressed disappointment that the significant development potential of these lands was not given proper consideration nor was the role of the local authorities in promoting economic development when the Department was finalising the new regional aid map.”
It claimed that already disadvantaged areas would have their problems compounded by the exclusion.
“Many Mid-West local electoral areas (LEAs) excluded from the new Regional Aid Map suffer from long-term high unemployment such as Kilrush, Co. Clare; Limerick City North and Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary.
“The submission raised the fact that the omission of such LEAs as these is firmly at odds with the purpose and spirit of regional aid.
“The new Regional Aid Map now places 13 out of 19 of our LEAs, covering 61% of the population, at a further disadvantage when trying to attract valuable investments and jobs.”
At this week’s meeting of Clare County Council, Chief Executive Pat Dowling said the exclusion of much of the county was unfortunate.
“It’s very regrettable. The previous aid map included all of Co Clare and this does not. That will have an impact on employment and grants for employment.”
He said that the Council is still seeking a rethink. “We are still fighting the case,” he commented.