YEARS of hard work came to fruition on Tuesday with the official opening of Thurles’ new Chamber Enterprise Centre, situated on the campus of LIT/TI. With all the news of job losses, closures, unemployment and emigration, it’s hoped the new centre will lead the fight back towards growth and prosperity for the Cathedral Town.
“This can be seen as the business community of Thurles, delivering jobs for Thurles,” Cllr Seamus Hanafin told the Tipperary Star. Cllr Hanafin, Chairman of the board tasked with bringing the project to completion, said the last six years of effort has culminated in new job opportunities for local entrepreneurs, graduates, and business people with the drive and courage to succeed. “We have three businesses located here. Between them they employ 16 people. We have 10 start-up businesses on the Tipperary Enterprise Startup Support (TESS) programme.”
Funded by Enterprise Ireland, North Tipperary County Council, Thurles Town Council, LIT, Thurles Chamber, North Tipperary County Enterprise, the work has been spearheaded by a Thurles Chamber Committee of Cllr Hanafin, John O’Shaughnessy, and Solicitor Anne Fitzpatrick. “We also have to pay tribute to LIT, who brought in their own expertise and vision.” Open for the last six months, the centre provides quality facilities; 25 hotdesks and 14 units from 25 to 80 sqm, broadband voice and data facilities, training and meeting rooms, a boardroom and ancillary facilities for up to 100 people in a superb business environment.
Director John O’Shaugnessy - a manager with Clancy Construction - says he understands the many difficulties facing business people. The idea for the Chamber Entrerprise Centre sprang from a few small enterprise units for start-up businesses on the Mill Road, before migrating to the present site on the Jimmy Doyle road. “In 2007, the three of us set up a sub-group within Thurles Chamber to try and get funding, and find an appropriate site. A lot of late nights, and a lot hard work, but we got there in the end. Due to the recession a lot of good people lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. They are latent entrepreneurs. But was there anything in Thurles to help them do that? No there wasn’t. We now have a fantastic facility here,” said Mr O’Shaughnessy.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star