29 May 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A new local action plan on strategies for the future viability of the furniture manufacturing sector will be launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Cavan/Monaghan Fine Gael TD Heather Humphreys, at an event in Monaghan Town tomorrow, Friday.

The launch will take place at a conference in the Hillgrove Hotel which marks the formal close of the development phase of the Wood FootPrint Project, an EU-funded initiative that has been exploring future diversification and innovation pathways for the furniture sphere, once a major employer in Co Monaghan but an area of production that has in recent years declined due to market shifts.

The plan, entitled “Whither the Furniture Industry”, defines its key aims as:

  • identifying future areas of focus and opportunities for those business owners looking to remain within the furniture industry; and
  • investigating diversification options for business owners with vacant buildings who have left, or are considering leaving, the industry and entering into other emerging sectors within the local economy.

Friday’s conference has been organised by the Northern & Western Regional Assembly and Monaghan Co Council.

Local businesses and stakeholders engaged in the wood and furniture sectors have been invited to hear a number of key speakers address topics such as the importance of the EU to the local economy; business associations; the importance of education and training within the furniture industry; challenges for manufacturing in Ireland in a global context, and where next for the Wood FootPrint Project.

The conference will conclude with a closed session between the project team and local furniture business owners on the future of the industry in Monaghan and the potential for the recently established Association of Furniture Manufacturers Ireland (FMI).

A spokesman for the conference organisers

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