Athenry hub provides food for thought!

Maureen Walsh and Gavin Greaney of DeCare Operations pictured at the recent American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland, Innovation Showcase which took place at EA Ireland, Parkmore.
Maureen Walsh and Gavin Greaney of DeCare Operations pictured at the recent American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland, Innovation Showcase which took place at EA Ireland, Parkmore.

Athenry could become the foodie capital of the West through an ambitious proposal to nurture food and drink related start-up businesses.

Plans are afoot to create a ‘food innovation and incubation hub’ at the Teagasc Mellows Campus in the town.

It is understood to be a €3 million project, which aims to boost jobs in County Galway and the West of Ireland.

Already, some 26 businesses have expressed an interest in being based at the hub.

It is contained in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs: West Region and in the County Galway Local Economic and Community Plan.

An outline of the plan was given at the Oranmore/Athenry Municipal District meeting on Tuesday morning, which was followed by a “focused consultation workshop” at the Mellows campus to “discuss industry needs, the vision for the project and how it can be realised”.

The hub, according to Galway County Council Director of Services, Michael Owens, “will be a dynamic food and drink innovation centre offering food-grade production units, a time share food incubator, product development facilities and labs.”

Mr Owens added: “It will act as a mecca for hands-on business support to provide a pathway to food innovation and commercialisation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.