Award competition to recognise craft makers and designers

Award competition to recognise craft makers and designers

By Maurice Garvey

SOUTH Dublin Local Enterprise is introducing a new award competition to recognise excellence and innovation amongst craft makers and designers.

Designers will take part in a showcase called Ireland’s International Creative Expo, in the RDS (January 22-25).

LEO launch pic 05 January 2017

The Expo is one of the country’s largest international trade shows, attracting more than 5,000 buyers from Ireland and around the world over the four days.

Colm Ward, Head of the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin said: “The new Local Enterprise Showcase is an ideal marketplace where buyers from around the world can meet local craftspeople and designers in person, helping small businesses get their big break.

“Our support for companies to be at the showcase is part of year-round supports offered from LEOs in local authorities to designers and craftspeople. These supports also include financial assistance, mentoring, business advice clinics and training programmes.”

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’ Connor, announced details for the inaugural awards and winners will be revealed at the showcase, which is organised by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland.

The number of LEO-supported companies at the showcase has jumped from 97 in 2016 to 112 in 2017.

The LEO South Dublin supported business is Gary Byrne’s Custom Wood Designs, of Blessington Road, Saggart.

The awards carry a first prize of a week’s product display in the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street, and an opportunity to pitch their product to Kilkenny Shop buyers.

Minister O’Connor, said: “Ireland has a wealth of design talent and I am very encouraged that the number of emerging craft and design companies being supported by the LEO’s at the showcase has increased this year. The LEOs have been a huge support for start-ups and small businesses in the blossoming design and craft sector. Supporting this creative sector will enable further job creation right across the country and I am delighted that these awards will recognise our incredible talent.”

“There is a strong appetite internationally for the work of Irish designers and makers, and the showcase is a great opportunity for craft makers to grow and develop.”

Further information on enterprise supports available to the design and craft sector is available through

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