Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise in Louth pictured with with Bronagh Conlon and Juliet Gogan of Listoke Distillery at their Gin School outside Drogheda which was grant aided by LEO Louth.
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Louth exists to support the needs of local business and help drive job creation and growth in the region. In their recent year-end review, some really interesting results emerged from LEO Louth, which is part of Louth County Council.
The results were announced today on a visit to Listoke Distillery in Drogheda, recent winner of the Best Start-Up Award in Co. Louth. Established in 2016, the Distillery boasts a fabulous gin school teaching visitors from far and wide to make their own gin.
Announcing the results, Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy explains, “83 new jobs were created in 2016 by LEO supported companies. These are not projected figures, but actual real jobs that already exist. This figure is up from 45 in 2014 and 65 in 2015, a really good indicator of growth in the county.”
The Local Enterprise Office Louth has 200 grant aided clients with an average of 4 employees per client. One of the aims of the Local Enterprise Office is to provide support to companies that can scale up, thus helping to create strong employment growth in the county.
Nationally, 10% of the companies that progressed from being Local Enterprise Office clients to Enterprise Ireland clients in 2016 came from Louth. This is a very significant achievement for Ireland’s smallest county. It’s also a sign that indigenous local companies have the potential for strong national and international growth.
Over €310,000 of grant aid was approved by the Local Enterprise Office Louth in 2016. Grant aid is normally to fund capital, helping local companies to invest in plant or equipment to aid their development. Bronagh Conlon of Listoke Distillery explains “The grant aid we received from LEO Louth enabled us to invest in our distilling equipment. This directly led to the launch last year of the Listoke 1777 Gin, which is now available countrywide and in duty free. We’re growing rapidly, now employing 3 full-time and 3 part-time staff, and attracting visitors from far and wide to our Gin School.”
Training is another area where there has been significant growth. Thomas explains “We are delighted to see a huge surge in bookings for training supports in Louth. In 2015, 413 people took part in Local Enterprise Office training. By 2016 that figure had grown to 1,116 participants taking part in 62 different training events. We work hard to ensure that our training and management development programmes are tailored to suit the changing needs of business.”
Business advice is a very important service offered to clients by the Local Enterprise Office. “Last year, we provided 214 mentor appointments to 124 businesses in the county. Business advice sessions allow business owners to talk through opportunities or challenges they are facing with an expert mentor who can help them develop solutions.”
The future is looking bright for new business in the county. “In 2016, over 150 participants completed Start Your Own Business courses. Each of these new businesses will be able to access training, advice and support from the team in the Local Enterprise Office as they grow. In addition over 1,000 students from 18 secondary schools took part in the Student Enterprise Programme.”
“Supporting entrepreneurs as they establish, develop and grow their business is crucial to the health of our local economy and creation of high quality jobs. The Local Enterprise Office Louth team are here to provide that support. Whatever stage your business is at, talk to us.” Thomas concluded.
Find out more about the Local Enterprise Office Louth by visiting www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Louth.