SPEAKING at the Kilkenny Chamber Business Awards, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan in his address highlighted the significant advantages that Kilkenny will enjoy as a “participant”in the Technological University which is sanctioned to be established in the South East.
Minister Hogan said that it will be a confidence boost to the area, and help both businesses and families alike giving Kilkenny a competitive advantage nationally and internationally.
He added that he looked forward to working with business in 2013 in ensuring that Kilkenny reaches its pull potential and while he described confidence as a great “intangible” he commended Kilkenny Chamber for the their efforts in 2012 and noted the positive attitude among business in Kilkenny throughout 2013.
Minister Hogan said the economy has stabilised, that it is becoming more competitive, that costs are reducing and jobs are being created. “Not as fast as we would wish, but nevertheless we are heading in the right direction,” he added and also referred to banks opening their books and lending to small businesses.
“ Don’t want to go fifteen rounds over the Borough council with Mayor Sean O’hArgain definitely is a need to reform,”said the minister as he outlined the political reforms at both management, funding and administrative level for local government.
He congratulated Chamber President Donie Butler on his team on their work in 2012 and noted the important contribution by businesses in Kilkenny and surrounding areas. While he noted that the recession has cost 200,000 jobs in the private sector, he said that the sector has seen an increase in employment this year and that Ireland’s international reputation is being restored.
He also noted government funding to Kilkenny projects - in particular the upgrade of roadworks, water schemes and broadband access totalling over €100m and the €15m development at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny.