Limerick is to capitalise on its reputation of being Ireland’s Sporting Capital with the announcement that it is to bid to establish a National Sports Cluster in the region.
The bid comes following the announcement of a €60m Enterprise Ireland Competitive Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which aim to support major new collaborative and innovative initiatives that can make a significant impact on enterprise development across regions or nationally to build the unique capabilities to grow the regions.
This funding will deliver on the objectives set out in the Action Plan for Jobs which sets out clear actions and targets to help create positive conditions for job creation.
Limerick is to bid to secure funding to position itself at the forefront of sports innovation and initiatives.
The project which has been in the pipeline for almost two years, aims to capitalise on the various elite sporting facilities and assets already in the region including UL’s sports campus and research facilities, LIT’s Sportslab (Europe’s leading strength and conditioning centre) in Thurles as well as a range of companies involved in other sports-related activities, from sports technology to nutrition companies.
This is a strategic initiative to developing Ireland’s growing sports industry which will also provide a fast landing facility for international companies looking to scale into Europe and provide a location for the organic development of sports entrepreneurs and sport research.
This development will provide a coherent approach to sport participation, performance, business, research, development and education.
Innovate Limerick, along with the Regeneration Office of Limerick City and County Council, has been working closely with UL, LIT, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Limerick Sports Partnership, Sporting Limerick and the Mid West Action Plan for Jobs Programme Manager to develop this collaborative initiative in line with the Mid West Action Plan for Jobs.
Action 105 of the Mid West Plan states: “pursue the creation of a start-up and enterprise ecosystem for sports-related start-ups, leveraging the educational, training and vocational opportunities in the region”. They are now looking forward to developing further partnerships and engaging with all stakeholders on this project.”
Mike Cantwell, Head of Innovate Limerick said: “Limerick is uniquely placed in Ireland to co-locate athletes and performance related activities with sports tech businesses and research. This high impact enterprise initiative will support sports related jobs creation will operate out of ‘The Engine’, the new name for the former Biblical Centre on Dominic Street in the heart of Limerick city centre. We have engaged with Kernel Capital as a private equity partner and look forward to welcoming the first cohort of companies this September .”