KERRY has been included in a new regional support programme identifying areas deemed fully eligible for government aid to support investment and employment.
The new regional aid map, details of which have been confirmed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, will see areas accounting for 51.28 per cent of Ireland’s population being eligible for support.
This represents a substantial increase from the 25 per cent originally proposed by the EU Commission and it will see Kerry included in the list.
State aid for large enterprises is permitted for new economic activities, expansions which involve new products or services, and product innovation. Under the original proposals, aid to large enterprises was to be banned entirely.
Aid intensity rates are maintained at current levels with 30 per cent for small enterprises, 20 per cent for medium-sized enterprises and 10 per cent for large enterprises.
Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who welcomed the move, said Kerry has been badly affected by the economic downturn in recent years and the employment situation in the county strengthened the government’s case to have Kerry added to the eligible areas.
“This announcement is a significant boost for Kerry and will make it much easier to go into boardrooms of multinational and Irish exporting companies and convince them to create jobs in Kerry,” Minister Deenihan stated.