Ministerial recognition for strong performing local business sector

Ministerial recognition for strong performing local business sector


Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Redmond T.D., visited Roscommon Local Enterprise Office (LEO) where he met with Local Enterprise staff and local businesses.


A total of 128 new local jobs were created by Local Enterprise Office supported companies last year (2023) in Roscommon, according to jobs figures announced recently. These figures are consistent with strong local job creation trends in recent years.


More than €2.1 million funding has also been approved by Roscommon LEO to 73 businesses in the last 5 years supporting their start-up, growth and innovation plans. An impressive 1092 businesses also availed of LEO Roscommon training last year.


Almost three hundred local businesses, 292 in total, received mentoring from Roscommon LEO in 2023 to support local entrepreneurs develop their capacities and skillsets. A further 25 Roscommon businesses received Trading Online Vouchers also in 2023 helping them transition to eCommerce business models.


In the past two years, Roscommon LEO has reported a strong focus on growing export businesses with 14 Roscommon businesses on an intensive Sales and Export Accelerator. Also last year, 33 Roscommon businesses received Productivity Supports to help drive growth through digitalisation, sustainability and efficiencies.


During his visit to the local LEO office, Minister Richmond met three Roscommon businesses where he gained considerable insight into the vibrant, yet diverse small to medium sized business sector in the county.


The Minister first met Timea Kovacs who set up ‘The Best Free From’, an artisan bakery established in August 2020 from her home in Clonalis, Castlerea. Here, her fresh baked product range is produced all sugar-free, gluten-free, yeast free, grain-free, wheat-free, soya-free and dairy-free.


Timea’s extensive range of products also includes vegan breads and cakes, sold online as well as directly at markets and festivals. In addition to their baked goods, ‘The Best Free From’ has broadened its product range to produce award winning dry baking mixes.


Further products in their product range are a Keto seedy bread mix, a spicy carrot cake mix and versatile Keto magic mix. These products are sold both online and through independent and chain health shops and are also launching in retail multiples in the near future.


Minister Richmond also met with management of the award winning Waldron Meats from Brideswell in South Roscommon. With over 35 years, experience Waldron Meats produce cures and an extensive range of pork products such as bacon, rashers, sausages, black and white puddings, ribs and ham joints.


Their highly acclaimed products are sold under their own ‘Waldron Family’ brand and for selected retailers own-brands. Waldron Meats are stocked in over 200 outlets including all leading multiples and retail chains. The business has also recently expanded into UK export markets.


Based in Athleague, Lydia Clayton has gained considerable experience as a goldsmith and jeweller since 2013. In that time, she has worked with and learned from some of the leading goldsmiths in Ireland. In 2022 she launched her own business, Lydia Clayton Goldsmith which designs and creates commissioned jewellery for customers. 


After a successful first year Lydia is about to launch her own range of jewellery to be sold through retail outlets as well as directly through her website. Last year, Lydia was shortlisted for the coveted Roscommon Businesswoman of the Year awards.


The national network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country which are funded by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, supported 996 jobs in 171 county Roscommon businesses. Nationally 8,726 jobs were supported across 7,167 client companies.


With a proven record of delivery Local Enterprise Office Roscommon in collaboration with Roscommon County Council have been to the forefront of efforts to help grow entrepreneurship and support businesses.


This has been demonstrated by the continued expansion of An Chistin Food Hub in Castlerea which will provide seven units for food production businesses and is currently in the process of being completed.


Meanwhile a new 14,000 square foot Innovation Centre in Monksland is also nearing completion and will represent an opportunity to incubate a new generation of high value start-ups in the region.


Welcoming Minister Richmond to Roscommon, the Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, Shane Tiernan said the Minister’s visit was a strong endorsement of the success and delivery of LEO supports to established and emerging businesses in the county:



 “I was delighted to welcome Minister Neale Richmond to Roscommon County Council and the Local Enterprise Office. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Local Enterprise Office network, it is appropriate to acknowledge its immense successes.


“The organisation works through the partnership approach enjoyed between Local Authorities, the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment on behalf of Central Government and enterprise development agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, in supporting small and micro-enterprises.


“Despite operating in a challenging environment for the last number of years, I am delighted that the level of entrepreneurship in Roscommon has continued to grow and will grow into the future.


“I am pleased to say that the businesses that the Minister met on his visit epitomise the qualities of innovation, resilience, creativity and ambition that are necessary to create employment and wealth for our communities across the county”, said the Chief Executive.


Senior Enterprise Development Officer with Local Enterprise Office Roscommon, Enda Cannon, also welcomed the Minister’s visit to the county: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister on his visit last Monday.

Meeting with established and new businesses, Minister Richmond saw first-hand the dynamic enterprise and innovation culture that exists within County Roscommon. Minister Richmond’s visit reflects his and his Department’s commitment to vigorously support local businesses in counties such as Roscommon”, said Mr. Cannon.