Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Helen McEntee, has welcomed the statement from Meath Partnership which estimates that 94 new jobs will be created as a result of an additional €3.3 million funding it has received from the EU funded LEADER programme.
LEADER is aimed at supporting locally based, bottom-up initiatives for the economic, social and cultural development of rural areas. Projects supported through the LEADER programme are required to produce sustainable impacts that continue after the funding period has ended.
“I am delighted that this LEADER funding from the European Union is benefitting jobseekers and employers in Meath. A number of innovative micro and small sized companies have benefitted from the funding and jobs are being created in the brewing and distilling sector, in artisan food, specialist construction and in the tourism and heritage sectors.
“Having worked with some of the successful applicants to help them get funding, I am delighted to see this come to fruition. For my part, I will continue to support and nurture new businesses in Meath in every way possible.
“Grants have been provided to 21 enterprises which will help them generate 94 jobs. These new jobs are in addition to the 103 new jobs announced by Meath Partnership in April and the 250 full time equivalent jobs that were created through funding from the LEADER programme in 2012.
“Meath Partnership estimates that each job generated through the LEADER funding costs just €11,000 to create. Not surprisingly, LEADER is widely viewed as one of the most successful EU economic initiatives.
“The value of this investment is made all the clearer by the fact some of the 94 people who take up these roles would otherwise be in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit and other social welfare payments which are of significant expense to the State.
“Fine Gael in Government is committed to the creation and protection of jobs. This underscores our commitment to not increasing income tax. We need to incentivise people to work and reward people for their work.”