FURNITURE INDUSTRY FIGHTS BACK! – MINISTER HUMPHREYS LAUNCHES NEW PLAN FOR REVIVAL OF SECTOR

6 June 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

PETER HUGHES

A major new initiative to restore vigour to the Monaghan furniture industry, involving significant marketing and training developments and the strengthening of a new national representative organisation for the sector, was formally launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Cavan/Monaghan Fine Gael TD Heather Humphreys, in the Hillgrove Hotel last Friday afternoon.
The “Whither the Furniture Industry?” action plan is the product of the development phase of the Wood FootPrint Project undertaken over the past two-and-a-half years with support from the EU’s URBACT programme.
It puts forward a number of measures designed to arrest the decline of the once vibrant and employment-rich sector of furniture manufacture in the county and identify new development options for its practitioners, as well as addressing the possible future uses of vacant production premises.
The plan’s main components include:
• The further development of the recently formed Association of Furniture Manufacturers in Ireland as a business collective designed to co-ordinate training, marketing and purchasing power within the industry and act as a voice of influence on relevant national and European policy
• The creation of a new furniture design and innovation centre based in Monaghan Town, and the development in the town of an exhibition and marketing centre for the local industry
• A new collective marketing initiative known as ‘Monmake’, designed to support local firms in growing sales locally, nationally and internationally and which will incorporate craft elements of the industry and act as a visitor attraction to the county
• The development of new work-based learning initiatives at the Monaghan Institute with the aim of delivering nationally accredited furniture apprenticeships
Representatives of the local and regional furniture industry were present at Friday’s launch, along with local public representatives and Sinn Féin TD for Cavan/Monaghan Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
JOBS AND PROSPERITY
In her address, Minister Humphreys said the …
furniture

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