The official launch of the new PLATO EBR Programme which is part funded through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme was hosted on Friday 30th November in new PLATO territory in the Craigavon Civic Centre where over 60 cross-border political and local authority representatives were in attendance. The event was opened by Mayor of Craigavon, Cllr.Carla Lockhart. The Vice-Chair of East Border Region Limited, Councillor Gerard Mallon welcomed guests and said, “PLATO EBR was an exciting offering for SMEs and indeed larger multi-nationals within the border region”. Director of Business Services at IntertradeIreland, Margaret Hearty also spoke at the event, where the economic and social importance of cross-border trading was highlighted.
The PLATO Programme has been in existence in Ireland since the late 1990s and more recently in counties Monaghan, Armagh, Down and Louth. Launch event attendees also heard from other PLATO regions in Ireland including Cork and learnt of the value of the PLATO Programme to SMEs through a case study example of a past participant, Martin Food Equipment in Dundalk.
Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO EBR outlined the role of the new body and how it sought to enhance cross-border networking opportunities and to bring significant economic benefit to local businesses trading across the East Border Region.
Whilst the Programme team is based at Monaghan County Enterprise Board’s Headquarters, their activities span across the ten Council areas of Newry and Mourne, Down and Banbridge District Councils, Armagh City and District Council, Craigavon, Ards and North Down Borough Councils in Northern Ireland and Louth Monaghan and Meath Councils and Louth and Monaghan County Enterprise Boards in the Republic of Ireland.
The PLATO EBR Pogramme is now seeking to recruit SMEs interested in enhancing their personal business network to develop and grow competitively. If interested contact a member of the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone to: +353 (0) 47 81975.
Pictured at the PLATO EBR launch event held in Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre were (front from left) Lorraine McCourt, Director JTS Special European Union Programmes Body; Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO East Border Region and Margaret Hearty, Director of Business Services Intertrade Ireland. (back from left) Joe English, Louth County Enterprise Board, John McEnteggert, Monaghan County Enterprise Board; Cllr Gerald Mallon, Vice ChairEast Border Region; JJ O’Connell, Director PLATO Cork and Joe Bailey, Director Martin Food Equipment Ltd. RicPics. 30/11/12.
Pictured at the PLATO EBR launch event at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre were (front from left) Dette Hughes, Intereg IVA Programme Manager East Border Region; Lorraine McCourt, Director JTS Special European Union Programmes Body; Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO EBR; Mary Meehan, Network Manager PLATO EBR, and Bernie Moen, PLATO EBR Administrator. (back from left)
Attending the PLATO EBR launch event at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre were (front from left)Dr Cecilia Hegarty, Director of PLATO EBR; Sara McGeary; Diane Stinson; Cllr Gerald Mallon, Vice-Chair of the East Border Region and Dette Hughes, Intereg IVA Programme Manager East Border Region. (back from left) Ciaran Tipping, Economic Development Officer Craigavon Borough Council; John O’Hare, Ards Borough Council; John McEnteggert, Monaghan County Enterprise Board; Joe English, Louth County Enterprise Board; Aideen Brennan and Maura Bettes, Ards Borough Council.