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18 Jan 2022

Creative Spark have exciting plans for Dundalk communities

Creative Spark have exciting plans for Dundalk communities

Creative Spark's strategic plan launch. Picture: Ken Finnegan/www.newspics.ie

Creative Spark has recently launched a plan to support creativity, innovation and small business in Louth

The Dundalk centre, which is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered charity, operates as a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to develop the local creative industries sector, support new and established innovative enterprises and activate creativity in the community.

Creative Spark first opened its doors in October 2012 and is led by a voluntary Board of Directors and a team of experienced staff.

As it launched its strategic plan for 2021-2023, Creative Spark’s stated vision is to provide a collaborative environment where learners, educators, innovators, start-ups, SMEs, creative industries and the local community can meet and exchange ideas, knowledge and best practice – to provide economic opportunity and development across the region.

The plan sets out Creative Spark’s purpose for the next three years and proposes significant growth in both the physical footprint and ambition of the local hub, ensuring its social impact through greater social inclusion, supporting enterprise and employment.

Chair of Creative Spark, Michael Farrell, said: “On behalf of the Board and Management team it is a great pleasure and honour for us to share our strategic plan 2021-2023.

"This is a very exciting time in the development of Creative Spark with two significant infrastructure projects in development – the Enterprise FabLab at Creative Spark in Muirhevnamor, and a new co-working hub, the Creative Spark Downtown Project, which will be launched in Clanbrassil Street this summer.

"The extended facility in Muirhevnamor will include a new Creative Spark Community Café to encourage social interactions between Creative Spark members, visitors and the local community.”

These projects have received funding through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Border Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland.

Aidan McKenna, Regional Director North East & North West Regions, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Enterprise Development Fund are designed to support collaborative and innovative initiatives such as Creative Spark to expand capabilities, facilities and supports to entrepreneurs and enterprises in the regions.

"This strategic plan launched by Creative Spark provides a vision and pathway to deliver increased supports and capacity building for innovation and design-led practices which is very much welcome.”

Other significant local supporters of the Creative Spark Downtown Project include Dundalk Economic Development Company (Oriel Hub), Dundalk Credit Union, Dundalk BIDS and Oriel Developments, while Louth County Council is assisting the FabLab project – this blend of support highlights the collaborative and partnership approach which Creative Spark brings to its ventures.

In its continuing partnership with DkIT, Creative Spark will develop and deliver Level 6 to Level 9 accredited training programmes of direct relevance to the creative industries and manufacturing sectors.

Speaking at the launch, Sarah Daly, Executive Director of Creative Spark said: “I look forward to delivering this plan over the coming years with the great team of people we have at Creative Spark.

"We are excited too that we will be recruiting four new roles over the coming year to help us to ensure that we can realise the vision of the Board of Directors.”

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