Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, visited the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Cavan as part of a series of nationwide engagements by the Minister, who is keen to meet the Local Enterprise Office teams and some of their client companies.
Minister English was joined by Brendan Smith TD and Senator Joe O’Reilly, and began with a visit to Cavan Digital Hub, where he met with Cllr. Clifford Kelly, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Chief Executive, Tommy Ryan and representatives the Council, and Marcella Rudden, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Cavan.
Minister English said, “it is great to be able to visit the Local Enterprise Offices to hear at first-hand what is going on in their locality. Their services, such as mentoring, training, upskilling and financial supports, have never been as important as businesses battle COVID-19 and Brexit as well as many other challenges. I want to acknowledge Marcella and her team for their efforts which have had a hugely positive impact on local enterprise. They have helped to protect local businesses and maintain jobs while also creating new jobs and assisting businesses to adapt in areas such as online trading.”
After a tour of the Digital Hub, Minister English met the owners of two LEO client companies whose are based in the facility. Richard Stafford is the owner of Apridata Ltd, a technology services company which was founded in 2014. His business employs a team of five and initially was initially focused on providing data analytics services to customers, helping them to make effective decisions with insights from their data. Continuous innovation and research and development has enabled the team to expand their service offerings to meet the broader needs of customers, with intelligent and robotic automation and bespoke software development.
Minister English then met with Garreth Tackney and Damien McBreen of EDAC Ltd. Established in late 2019, the business is focused on developing a cloud-based environmental-management software (EMS) solution that is a central platform for a diverse range of industrial customers to monitor, record, track and report their environmental data across a range of parameters. This can include surveys, inspections, maintenance work, compliance checks and reporting. The company offers a centralised digital solution that can manage and connect all of these operations. EDAC have a wide customer base including food processing, manufacturing, utility and waste management companies.
Master Chocolatier Ann Rudden then briefed the Minister on her company, Aine Handmade Chocolates. She started her business in 1999 and now employs a team of nine. Her products include chocolate bars, hand rolled truffles, indulgent Irish Crème Liqueur and Pralines. The products are shipped all around the world, directly to consumers and fine food stores. Ann explained that the company supply Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and SuperValu and recently commenced production of a range of chocolate bars for Harrods in London.
On his final visit, Minister English called to Arch-1 Modular Solutions. The company was established in October 2020 by Gareth Rothwell and Matt Fitzgerald, who have over 20 years construction, engineering and design/consultancy experience. They identified a gap in the market for superior, steel frame, modular building solutions that could be easily transported. Their products are made in both readily available and bespoke designs that are also delivered and installed with all fixtures and fittings. The company also deliver solutions for a range of sectors and purposes, for example: residential, health, medical, education facilities, business and enterprise units.
On the conclusion of his visit, Minister English said, “I am hugely impressed by the range of enterprises I have seen here in Cavan today. From high-tech software and solutions, to bespoke construction, to chocolate manufacture, it really shows the talent and innovation that exists in our country.”
“The importance of our local communities has never been so evident as in recent times and campaigns such as ‘Looking for Local’ have been hugely positive for local businesses. As my department continues to develop our Regional Enterprise Plans I know that collaboration and innovation are vital in driving our local economies. That has been very clear today in Cavan and it was great to meet those involved in businesses and supporting businesses and experience the great work that is going on.“