25-year-old Wexford Enterprise Centre is firmly focused on bringing established and new local businesses of all sizes to next level with the launch of purpose-built state-of-the-art strategy space, the Williams Innovation Room
The innovative work of Wexford entrepreneur Tom Williams, one of the founding members of Wexford Enterprise Centre who passed away in 2012, has been suitably commemorated with the launch of a new facility to help Wexford firms achieve strategic growth.
Wexford Enterprise Centre celebrates its 25th anniversary this month by launching “The Williams Innovation Room”, a new state-of-the-art facility developed specifically for SME and larger companies to enable them to develop their strategic growth plans within a purpose built creative space which is unique within the region.
It is equipped with cutting edge technologies including large interactive screens, conference facilities, a 3-metre retractable “Dream Wall” and technologies which enable presentations to be shown directly from mobile phones and external locations.
This latest facility further enhances the professional service offerings from Wexford Enterprise Centre and follows shortly after the upgrade launch of their Centrepoint Café, a modern 50 seat restaurant facility.
The Enterprise Centre is governed by Wexford Community Development Association, now known as Innovation Wexford. The community based Social Entrepreneurial Organisation was founded by a group of proactive and driven individuals drawn from Wexford’s business and community sectors. Their mission was and continues to be, to support sustainable job creation initiatives in County Wexford while at the same time supporting marginalized and socially disadvantaged communities.
On Friday afternoon Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor welcomed Wexford’s business and community sectors to Wexford Enterprise Centre to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. He commended the work of Innovation Wexford’s board, management and staff and stated the pride that Wexford holds for Wexford Enterprise Centre as Ireland’s leading incubation and enterprise hub.
He also expressed his delight to be present for the opening of the Williams Innovation Room. “Tom was very passionate about all things Wexford, therefore it is absolutely appropriate that the new facility is dedicated to the memory of Tom given his commitment to supporting innovation within Wexford start-up companies”.
Philip Scallan, Chairman Innovation Wexford extended a warm welcome to Tom William’s family, his wife Maire, daughters, Joanne and Annette, son David, Tom’s grandchildren, his friends and family. He spoke about the importance of enterprise and innovation within any community and the need to support innovation within start-up and low sized businesses in every way possible. He gave a short overview of the current operations of the organisation.
He concluded by thanking both the current and past board members of Innovation Wexford for their tireless voluntary commitment to the Association and its Group Divisions over the past two decades. In particular he extended his personal appreciation to the current board of Fr. Jim Fegan, Brendan Wallace, Eamonn Murphy, Eleanor White, Edmund Wheeler, Pat Fitzgerald, Colin Browne and thanked the CEO Brendan Ennis and his staff for pushing the boundaries of enterprise development on a constant basis and delivering a facility for Wexford which is second to none.
Tom’s wife Maire Williams officially opened the Williams Innovation Room at Wexford Enterprise Centre and expressed her family’s gratitude for this great honour. She spoke warmly about Tom’s commitment and passion to the organisation which spanned nearly 30 years, 14 as Chairman. She went on to say that he would have loved the new facility because of its quality, use of innovation and his love of technology and gadgets. He was always extremely proud of Wexford Enterprise Centres success nationally and valued his time working with the Board, Brendan and his team.
The new facility was blessed by Fr. Jim Fegan, Vice Chairman Innovation Wexford and parish administrator who spoke warmly about the values, ethos and drive that Tom brought to the association. He paid tribute to the founding members of the association, including Sister Theresa McCormack, Fr. Jack McCabe, Niall McConnell, Peter Redmond, John Quinlivan and all the individuals who gave of their time freely over the past two decades to transform Innovation Wexford and Wexford Enterprise Centre into a national model of best practise.
Fr. Hugh O’Byrne former Chairman also spoke and stated how rewarding it was to see a voluntary community based organisation develop from a small, simple concept into an organisation which is respected throughout Ireland and internationally for its proactive approach to enterprise development.
The Enterprise Centre is currently home to over 30 businesses within its 45,000 sq-ft premises, with space ranging from highly wired office space to food and industrial units. It is home to a variety of businesses employing more than 120 people and has supported the creation of approx. 1000 jobs to date. When officially opened in May 1989, the Centre was one of the first incubation facilities in Ireland and today it is recognised nationally as one of Irelands flagship Centres from over 120 such facilities now in existence.
Brendan Ennis, Group Chief Executive Innovation Wexford and Wexford Enterprise Centre, concluded by stating that it is fitting the new facility is named in memory of Tom Williams who chaired the organisation from 1998 to 2012.
“Tom was fundamental in the centre’s growth and he played a large part in transforming Wexford Enterprise Centre into the hub of enterprise and innovation it is today”.
Brendan stated that the success of Innovation Wexford would not be possible without the tireless work of the board over the last 25 years and the commitment of our dedicated staff across our four divisions: Wexford Enterprise Centre, Datagroup, Recycling 2000 and Celtic Enterprises.
He thanked both the current and past tenants of Wexford Enterprise Centre for their valued support and partnership in creating the atmosphere that drives this unique space on a daily basis and wished them well with their future plans for growth and success. He expressed his appreciation to Innovation Wexford’s strategic partners for their valued support of the organisation and stated that the organisation’s success would simply not be possible without each and every-one of them. In conclusion he praised the work and dedication of the craftspeople, who worked on the new facility and thanked all present for attending and for their continued support and loyalty throughput the years.