John McGuinness TD, Claire McInerney Brown, CEO Suasmane Limited, Minister Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade and Enterprise and Brian Keyes, President, Kilkenny Chamber
Funding of €2.3 million thanks to Enterprise Ireland backing and matched by key players in Kilkenny will see the development of a Design Hub, titled C4D in Kilkenny this year.
The hub will be based in the city and offer local businesses and firms everywhere the opportunity to develop design strategy and design thinking — key components of any company’s development.
Consultant Claire McInerney Browne of Suasmane Consulting led the charge in securing €1.86 million from Enterprise Ireland and this has been backed by IT Carlow, Kilkenny Leader, Kilkenny County Council, KIDCO and dairy giant Glanbia. Cartoon Saloon and the Design Crafts Council of Ireland are also supportive of the new venture.
Last week Claire met with local TD John McGuinness and Minister of State Robert Troy, who has the responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and visited Kilkenny on Friday.
Already up to 30 companies have attended a local think-in on how best business can improve their design thinking and also to refine their products.
The new hub would be a huge boost for present and future business in Kilkenny and the focus is now on the advancement of the project in the coming months.
During his visit to Kilkenny, Minister of State Troy also met local business leaders and Chamber members at City Hall, facilitated by Mayor Andrew McGuinness. Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Fidelis Doherty and local TD John McGuinness were also present.
Among the concerns raised were staffing issues, the rising cost of doing business, debt warehousing and the maintaining of the 9% VAT rate for applicable businesses.
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