€3.7m Investment and 40 jobs to be Created

W8 Complex Manorhamilton Digital Innovation Hub

€3.7m Investment and 40 jobs to be Created

North Leitrim and wider north-west region are set to benefit from an investment of €3.7m in new innovation, research and development and education centre to be opened in the W8 complex in Manorhamilton.

€2.94m in grant funding has been sourced through the BEDF Fund with Enterprise Ireland with a further €740,000 invested from regional industry partners.

This project is a collaboration between the W8 Centre, Enterprise Ireland, Sligo IT, South West College Enniskillen, Irish Manufacturing Research Centre Mullingar, Irish Concrete Federation, Irish Construction federation, Leitrim County Council and 40 Industry companies that supports 10,000 jobs in the Border region. It is expected to create 40 full-time jobs over the next three years with a further 200 jobs indirectly created through inward industry company development and 20 additional full-time construction jobs created at the W8 complex in Manorhamilton.

As part of the development, the W8 Innovation brand will develop the Quarry and Construction industries under Industry 4.0 with a focus on robotics and cobotics, artificial intelligence and smart data, software development, virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D industry printing and workplace of the future.

W8 Innovation will become a National innovation organisation and Robotic Centre of Excellence for the Irish aggregates, concrete products and construction industry which plays a pivotal role in the development of Ireland’s building environment.

Barry Kennedy,  CEO Irish Manufacturing Research, said: “ I would like to congratulate the W8 team on successfully winning funding for this important project in North Leitrim. IMR is delighted to be a strategic partner to help support the growing needs of the rapidly changing landscape of the quarry and construction industry, who face unprecedented challenges with COVID-19 and Brexit. IMR look forward to working with the W8 Innovation team and the construction industry to help Demystify, Derisk and Delivery emerging technologies to support this industry to grow in Ireland.”

Shane Kerrigan, W8 Complex added:  “I see this as a huge vote of confidence in W8 Innovation and our team of dedicated workers. It is also a great success story for the region and its people. I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this application to fruition for all their hard work, guidance support. We look forward to the future and want to focus on creating opportunities for generations to come.”

While  JJ O’Hara, Project Manager noted: “This was a team effort between Quarry and Construction Industry, Sligo IT, South West College Enniskillen, Irish Manufacturing Research Centre and Leitrim County Council. While it was an interesting project to develop, now the real work will start to make it happen. We will be open for business in 2021. This project will bring unique technologies, Education and innovation to the Border region that will create numerous jobs on this island and into both industries. I would like to thank all the teams of each agency and our Industry partners. The most of all I would like to thank is Enterprise Ireland Team in Sligo and Border region, an Incredible professional team.”

Representatives of Leitrim County Council also added their support with Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Enda McGloin thanking Minister Heather Humphreys on behalf of the council and his party colleagues for the funding observing “this type of funding makes a real difference to the region of North Leitrim and beyond to ensure a much needed financial and technological investment for the future generation of people living in this part of our Island”.

Cllr Padraig Fallon also added his good wishes: “I wish to offer my congratulations to the W8 Management, Project Manager and Everyone involved in their success. This is excellent news for North Leitrim, Leitrim and the Border Region. It is well deserved and a testament to the hard work, efforts, enthusiasm, and dedication of all involved.”