Fáilte Ireland launches new Programme for tourism businesses under the EU Just Transition Fund

Fáilte Ireland launches new Programme for tourism businesses under the EU Just Transition Fund

  • Fully funded professional development programme to help build business capability and transform tourism in the region.
  • Tourism businesses located in counties Laois, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Roscommon and parts of Galway, Tipperary and Kildare invited to register their interest.*

Fáilte Ireland has today [11 January 2024] launched an open call for Expressions of Interest for its Tourism Learning Network Programme as part of the EU Just Transition Fund Regenerative Tourism & Placemaking Scheme for Ireland’s Midlands 2023-2026.

This new Tourism Learning Network Programme is designed to build tourism business’ capabilities to help grow and future proof their sustainable development. The programme is open to existing and new tourism businesses, public sector partners and individuals located within the EU Just Transition territory*. It provides a unique opportunity for participants to benefit from a fully-funded programme of tailored professional development supports that enhances their tourism skillsets and supports the transition from employment in the peat or electricity production to a career in the tourism industry.

Paul Hayden, Head of Programme Just Transition at Fáilte Ireland said:

“The EU Just Transition Tourism Learning Network Programme focuses on building professional tourism capability to help transform tourism businesses in the region by enhancing business skills and know-how to advance professional development. Valued at the equivalent of up to €10,000 per business/applicant, this best-in-class programme offers tailored professional development to suit commercial, not for profit, community and charity tourism enterprises in the territory. Fáilte Ireland is committed to and focused on the sustainable development of tourism across Ireland which is an important economic driver and source of employment. This learning programme will help businesses to develop essential skills and practices across planning, digital, sustainability and accessibility while enhancing the visitor experience across the region. Whether you are starting a new tourism enterprise or expanding a current tourism business, we invite you to express your interest today.”

Director of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, Clare Bannon said:

“It is great to be launching this Tourism Learning Network Programme which will build professional business capacities for tourism in the wider Midland area. This programme is a key part of the overall Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme, supported by the EU Just Transition Fund, which is bringing new local job opportunities and will enhance skills for diversification in the visitor economy. This is a part of a body of complementary actions supported by the EU Just Transition Fund programme to harness the resilience of the region into the future.”

The programme invites eligible tourism businesses that are just starting up, expanding a current tourism business, managing or working in a not-for-profit enterprise, charity, community or social tourism enterprise, public agency partners involved in recreation and public realm for tourists, and previous employees of ESB Networks or Bord na Móna, involved in electricity production or peat harvesting, planning a new career in tourism.

Successful applicants will be guided through the programme by experts from Fáilte Ireland’s Enterprise Development team to select a tailored learning pathway suited to their individual

needs across the 5 key learning pillars: Understanding Tourism, Business Planning for Growth, Digital Technology, Accessible Tourism For All, and Sustainable Tourism Practices. Upon programme completion, participants will have the opportunity to be awarded certification and connected to further Fáilte Ireland Business Supports.

Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union, the EU JTF Programme supports regions that are experiencing the negative impacts from the transition away from fossil fuel-intensive or greenhouse-gas-intensive industries, such as the use of peat for energy generation. Fáilte Ireland developed the EU Just Transition Learning Network Programme to help maximise the benefit of the EU Just Transition scheme for tourism businesses, employees, visitors, and the wider region. It follows the launch of Fáilte Ireland’s first scheme in August 2023, Investment Grant-Aid Scheme for Private & Community SMEs, which is still open for applications across a number of categories.

Expressions of Interest for the Tourism Learning Network Programme will be accepted from today until Thursday, 22nd February 2024. Applications will be assessed by Fáilte Ireland, who will provide guidance on the programme and offer direct support. Applicants can find more information and complete an Expression of Interest here

Read the full EU Just Transition Tourism Learning Network Programme prospectus here.

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