Roscommon LEADER Partnership, together with development agencies partners, has announced details of a major conference to explore the immense potential of creative entrepreneurship to create new employment opportunities and transform local communities. As part of an EU project, Creative Communities Igniting Change, the Ballaghadereen conference has attracted speakers from across Ireland and the UK to share very practical and inspiring examples of how creative workspaces can act as hotbeds of new creative businesses. Speakers include Roscommon native and international fashion designer Una Burke, serial entrepreneur tech investor Shane Deasy, Frockadvisor and founder of Bitbuzz amoungst others.
Creative Communities Igniting Change is a two year pan European project working in Northern Ireland (Banbridge), Sweden and Poland and is funded under the Erasmus + project. The Irish project partners are Roscommon LEADER Partnership and Leitrim based training and development organisation Momentum. In Roscommon, it has established a high impact Regional Alliance consisting of Roscommon County Council (Local Enterprise Office, Town Teams and Arts Office), Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board, Western Development Commission, Upper Shannon Erne Future Economy project, GMIT, AIT, Westbic and Ballaghadereen CDP.
At the heart of the project is the opportunity to transform local communities, tackle derelict buildings while nurturing new creative entrepreneurs to set up their business in rural areas. Working closely with the Roscommon County Council led Town Teams initiative; details were announced of plans to establish a co-working creative hub in Ballaghadereen which will be home to 10 new emerging creative businesses. Micheal Frain, Chairperson of Roscommon LEADER Partnership explained that the project has two aims. ‘Firstly, we are putting in place a very special acceleration programme to create entrepreneurial opportunities for people to get involved in the creative sector as a stepping-stone to self employment. Secondly, we will develop a new enterprise hub in Ballaghadereen in the very near future. If we can create 10 new jobs in Ballaghadereen through this project, we will be delighted. Our call out for those potential entrepreneurs will go live at our conference’. Pat Towey, representing Ballaghadereen Town Teams, gave his support and commitment to the project and commended a project of this magnitude will be a welcome and much needed boost for the town of Ballaghadereen.
The free conference will take place in the offices of Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Ballaghadereen on July 22nd 2016 and will be launched by Ms Mary Mitchell O Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Importantly, the conference is a multiplier event which will see Dr. Paddy Tobin of GMIT launch one of the first outputs of Creative Communities Igniting Change project, a Toolkit for the Establishment of Creative Communities Regional Alliances. Full details of the Ballaghadereen creative hub initiative will be outlined by Senator Maura Hopkins. Places on the day are limited and can be booked through our website www.creativecommunities.how/booking or alternatively contact Amanda Mee, Erasmus + Project Manager, Roscommon Leader Partnership on 086 0460046.