Social, Economic and Cultural Profile of County Clare

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The Economy of Clare - Economic Development and Support Agencies

Shannon Development
Shannon Development is the principal support agency for indigenous companies that employ more than 10 people. As of December 2000, it supported 154 companies operating in Clare. Shannon Development is the regional economic development company for the Shannon region. It is responsible for industrial, tourism and rural development in the Shannon area, which is approximately 10,000 square kilometres with an approximate population of 407,000 people. The work of Shannon Development covers Limerick City, Counties Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary, southwest Offaly and North Kerry.
Since its establishment, it has been the catalyst for major economic development initiatives in the region including; the world's first Industrial Free Zone, the establishment of Shannon Town in 1961, the establishment of Bunratty Folk Park in 1964 and the National
Technological Park in 1984. Shannon Development is also the lead tourist development agency in Clare. Shannon Development works in partnership with many partners in each County such as the other local development agencies, the Chambers of Commerce and the
Urban District Councils. Shannon Development has produced development strategies for Clare covering the following: industry, tourism, food, agribusiness and natural resources.
The following is a breakdown of the number of industrial units and workspace, which were supported by Shannon Development as of March 2001.

Shannon Town and Airport (including Shannon Business Park):
130 units occupied (51,404 sq. ft.)
4 units allocated (744 sq. ft)
22 units vacant (2,633 sq. ft)
Shannon Industrial Estate:
128 units occupied ( 1509607 sq. ft)
14 units vacant (20750 ft)
5 units allocated (58,250 ft)
Kilkee 2 units occupied (12, 573 sq. ft)
Killaloe 2 units occupied (3070 sq. ft.)
Lisdoonvarna 4 units occupied (3672 sq. ft), 3 units vacant
Miltown Malbay 3 units occupied (11,205 sq. ft) 1 unit vacant
Tuamgraney 8 units occupied (19, 3444 sq. ft. )*

Clare County Enterprise Board
The County Enterprise Board was established in December 1993 under the auspices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It is responsible for the support of micro enterprises in Clare. The following is a summary of the activities of the Enterprise Board. These statistics relate to the period from 1993 to 31st December 2000:
The number of businesses grant aided amount to 437.
The number of part-time and full-time positions supported were 732 and 125.
Total amount grant aided since 1993 is £2.918m.
The percentage of businesses still operating from 1993 to present is 93%.
The childcare sectors together with craft and information technology are the main sectors showing growth; engineering is showing a decline.
The levels of innovation shown amongst clients of the Board relate to software technology and building industry.
High level of information technology activity amongst clients; the figure is approximately 75%.
The Board has an Entrepreneurial Capability Development Programme in place**.
Figure 4.14 shows the distribution by area of County Enterprise supported projects by area since its inception.
Figure 4.14: Enterprise Board 2000

Source: County Enterprise Board, 2001

Industrial Development Authority
The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) supports foreign industry in Clare. It currently supports 10 companies in Clare. Of the companies supported, 25% are from the USA and 34% are from Germany. There are approximately 1,120 jobs provided by these companies. Table 4.34 provides a list of these companies:
Table 4.34: Employment Statistics in IDA Assisted Companies in Clare as at December 1999
Plant Name
Town Approx Full Time Jobs
ROCHE IRELAND LTD Ennis 220
OLYMPUS DIAGNOSTICA GMBH Tuamgraney 200
MICROSEMI Ennis 130
ORGANIC LENS MANUFACTURING Ennis 140
PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC LTD Ennis 100
STUDIO EYEWEAR LIMITED*** Ennis 100
CHEMFAB EUROPE LIMTED Kilrush 90
ASSMANN ELECTRONICS LIMITED Ennis 60
BIJUR LUBRICATING IRELAND LIMITED Ennis 50
STUBBEN (IRELAND) LTD Ennistymon 30
Total
1120
Source: IDA, 2001

* Shannon Development, 2001
**Clare County Enterprise Board, 2001
***Note that Studio Eyewear closed in 2001

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