Work is progressing well on the development of a new Marine Innovation Park at Cill Chiaráin in Connemara. The Innovation Park will facilitate research and commercial activities and is one of the actions of the Realising Our Rural Potential Action Plan being led by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
My Department is working closely with Údarás na Gaeltachta on this project so that we can help support research and commercial activities in the marine sector, including the seafood sector, in Galway.
An advisory committee with stakeholder representation has been established and a project executive has been appointed while meetings have been held recently involving community representatives. Together, the committee and the project executive will develop a masterplan for the project and undertaken an Environmental Impact Study ahead of the securing of planning permission.
This project has great potential to boost local communities including Cill Chiaráin and Carna. It will help attract investment and encourage and stimulate entrepreneurship locally in the marine and food sectors, among others. It complements the work of Údarás in helping to maintain and create new jobs in the Galway Gaeltacht and I look forward to the project progressing further this year.