Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond, paid a visit to the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Westmeath, where he met with council officials and members of the LEO team as well as some of their client companies.
The Minister was greeted at the council chambers by Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Liam McDaniel of Westmeath County Council, Head of Enterprise, Christine Charlton and Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council, Pat Gallagher.
Minister Richmond said, “I am delighted to visit the Westmeath Local Enterprise Office and meet with the LEO team and clients. Meeting businesses across the country is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role and it is great to see the impact of the LEO’s work and meet some amazing entrepreneurs.”
“The team in the Westmeath LEO, led by Head of Enterprise Christine Charlton, do incredible work, supporting over 250 companies which employ over 1,400 people across Westmeath. From financial supports to mentorships, the LEO team are working tirelessly to support their local businesses and their success is clear through that of their clients.”
The Minister was introduced to Mark Connaughton, a talented soccer coach whose playing career included spells at Longford town and Shelbourne AFC. Mark founded Klaas Kickz, selling colour coded football boots, designed by Roscommon based by professional designer, Lorna Burke, that help children learn football through colours and become more confident.
Minister Richmond then met Rosaleen Coates of Rosaleen’s Kitchen, a gluten and wheat free kitchen established in 2013. Rosaleen supplies fresh gluten and wheat free homemade products made from locally sourced products to the food service industry and has developed new Gluten-Free Dry-mixes for home baking.
Minister Richmond also spoke with Robert Collentine and John Raleigh of Hybrid Engineering, a Mechanical contracting and fabrication company based in Mullingar. Hybrid Engineering develop and design bespoke prefabricated and modular mechanical packages for their clients. The Westmeath LEO team has worked closely with Hybrid since 2019, aiding with start-up costs, business expansion.
The Minister then met Jeffrey Lyons of Watt Footprint, an energy management business that reduces client’s energy bills through a one-stop-shop approach. Wattfootprint are in the process of developing their own energy monitoring device which will allow them to measure energy consumption and power quality, send this data to their servers for analysis, giving clients greater control of their energy costs.
On the conclusion of his visit, Minister Richmond said, “the impact of support provide by Local Enterprise Offices across the country cannot be underestimated. The entrepreneurs I met in the Westmeath LEO show the diversity of businesses in the County and are an example of the possibilities that are open to anyone who wants to start or grow their own business. I would strongly encourage all entrepreneurs in Westmeath to contact the LEO team if they have not already.”